03/09/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/08/2018 21:10
We are doing everything possible to have ships return to our Port following the short notice withdrawal of strike notices by the RMTU for the period 9 to 12 March.
Since the recent withdrawal of the RMTU strike notices, we have worked with our customers to organise the arrival of more than eight vessels between Sunday night and Monday (12 March).
It is important you are aware that RMTU has made false claims in media that shipping lines can change their schedules with as little as four days notice.
We know that the nature of international shipping does not usually allow for vessel diversion with less than seven days notice. We also understand that managing the return of vessels to our Port this weekend has come at a significant cost and disruption to both the shipping lines and Canterbury shippers, who had already diverted cargo to other Ports or cancelled export bookings.
We appreciate the support shipping lines and other customers have provided over this period. However, it is unlikely that shipping lines will continue to reverse these decisions if RMTU continue to withdraw strike notices with too little time for vessels and cargoes to be diverted back to our Port.
Over the last few days the RMTU has also issued new strike notices, extending its strike action from 13 to 24 March.
This is in spite of our generous new offer to RMTU members of a 3% salary increase each year for three years while asking for no changes in their conditions of work.
This means we are no longer asking them to make the roster changes, agreed to a year ago by their MUNZ colleagues at the Port, which would allow us to offer customers more flexible servicing of their vessels.
Because of MUNZ members' flexibility in accepting and working the new roster they received a salary increase of 4% this year and 3% for the next two years.
We have previously offered RMTU members in the Terminal parity with these conditions and wages. However, RMTU want the same salary increases as their MUNZ colleagues while refusing to make the same roster changes.
Further mediation will take place with RMTU on Monday and we will provide you with an update about the industrial action and our contingency planning after that has concluded.
We appreciate your patience during this challenging time. Should you have any questions in relation to the industrial action please discuss them with your usual LPC contact.