Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A storm in any port

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  • DexterX,

    This makes for an interesting read: - CMP ANZCO Lock out fact sheet

    http://union.org.nz/sites/union.org.nz/files/CMP%20ANZCO%20Lock%20out%20fact%20sheet%20_2_.pdf

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1186 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    But the Council are the ones who insisted on that level of return in the first place. Only public pressure will force a backdown and as you note the levers are highly politicised at each level - including the various right-wing attachments of those put in place by the governement to run ACIL and the Port Board.

    Welcome to the inevitable dysfunctional outcome of National and Act's neoliberal fantasies, just like we saw in the 80s and 90s. They don't seem to have much understanding of how people and organisations actually behave.

    Despite perenially low electoral support, we have let these clowns get away with influence well beyond their competence for decades. Time for that to be vigorously and comprehensively put to an end - and not by some romantic call for cloth-cap socialism instead.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16496 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    I think the wharfies are screwed. I don't want it to be so but I suspect it will be.
    I don't think anyone really cares anymore (outside of Public Address and a few sundry others) and what would have happened in the good old days - every port in NZ shutting down in support - is now seen as a golden business opportunity by the others, e.g. Tauranga nicking as much business as possible from Aucks while the strikes were on. Maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps the Public Service workers will rise up as they get slashed again, along with fire fighters and others, but, as pointed out previously, where are the other big unions?

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 250 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Sacha,

    But the Council are the ones who insisted on that level of return in the first place.

    I'm really keen to see where/how this occurred - I believe it, I just want to see the mechanism that was used.

    But I also think that's a bit of a red herring - the POAL Board will be doing their best to maximise returns and it sounds like these adverserial employment relations have been in place for some time. In short, I don't think this would be solved if the Council said "oh don't worry, just get us 6%"

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    It seems to me if you were preparing POAL for sale, you'd get all employees on contract first. Who owns the land the ports operate from?
    Oh my, is Auckland Council going to be asset stripped? (go Rodders). I write this because this is not the first attempt, I must research Infrastructure Auckland.
    Oh my, a quick google and it's an interesting lineage.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    really keen to see where/how this occurred

    links upthread have some details

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16496 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to DeepRed,

    Attachment

    “leaking like a sieve with massive holes in it”

    Oh I do love the smell of a good tautology in the morning.

    Aside from that. Can someone, anyone, explain this monstrosity that we paid for down in Slimepool Park?

    The Bridge into the void: This picture shows the "bridge" from its outer staircase. You can follow that structure all the way down to the silo where another staircase awaits you. That's it. Maybe I just don't get it...

    I mean, why do we need a thing to climb up and look over things we could just walk around, I don't get it either.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4696 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Aside from that. Can someone, anyone, explain this monstrosity that we paid for down in Slimepool Park?

    I thought it was a temporary structure to hide the tanks until the rest of the Tank Farm redevelopment can occur

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Sacha,

    links upthread have some details

    Some but not quite the specifics (unless I've missed them as usual) - the "12%" seems to be used quite differently across reports. It sounds like McKay gave ACIL the high-level financial target though - which makes the Mayor and Council even further removed from it (McKay being the operational CEO, not an elected Council member). Of course, Council will have signed off the financial plan from their executive.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Mai FM were running advertising for contractors for the port, and appealing directly to the workers on strike to come in to negotiate. In the 40 mins I was in the car this morning, I heard the advertisement about 8 times.

    I don't think anyone really cares anymore (outside of Public Address and a few sundry others)

    That's certainly been my impression just from friends and family that I've spoken to casually about it. Even the die-hard socialists can hardly raise their eyes from their own troubles.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    There's no me in solidarity ;-)

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    It's very difficult to gather enough reliable information to form an opinion on this, but it seems clear that this is a battle in a larger war, and that it could very easily turn to custard for current political incumbents.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    No longer prescient, headline change http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/6562626/Auckland-Council-to-vote-on-port
    Sadly I think too much institutionalized power via corporatism means that this struggle is one-sided. The hiring has been done, the contracts offered.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to merc,

    too much institutionalized power via corporatism

    Political scientists might just call that "fascism"...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to nzlemming,

    I could say but I wont ;-) The tide went out on us when they hired their first CEO.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to nzlemming,

    Political scientists might just call that "fascism"...

    Godwin's law was invented to block objecting to fascism.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • steve black,

    I was recently reading up on the 1951 Waterfront Dispute. Scary how much of what is written up there is still true today.

    sunny mt albert • Since Jan 2007 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to llew 40,

    don't think that the 'market model' is the real culprit

    Maybe not, but the opposite (state controlled) might well be a solution, creating benefits for the economic viability of POA, for the ports network as a whole, and as a fundamental piece of macro-economic infrastructure.

    Maybe it's less about ownership, and more about unifying the ports of NZ into a single network. Just as Ak City is now creating a single public transport network. Finally!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 194 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    It was not only misleading ,it was a downright lie.
    A stevedore at 40 hrs a week at 53 weeks, $56,187.00 before tax, by my math.

    The $91,000 is (partly) explained here. Not shown in those figures, but I believe this to be the case, is that the figure also includes estimates for benefits like super schemes and medical insurance etc. Pretty standard stuff to include these items when talking about a 'salary package', but I guess some people will split hairs over it.

    The other day some said to me that while the stevedores get a guaranteed 40hr week even if they work less, the overtime rate was deliberately set to close to the standard work rate (i.e not time and a half or whatever) as some sort of balance. Is anyone able to confirm this? If it is true then it takes some sting out of POAL's 'working half time' complaint...

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • andrew r, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Seriously lols, just massive massive lols. Franks .....

    auckland • Since May 2007 • 76 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    I found this proposal to move the port to Northland interesting.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 547 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster, in reply to DexterX,

    Unions are in a bind, fewer members = less income = decreased ability to achieve results = less interest in people joining and so on in an ever decreasing spiral. The connection between the human side of our society and the practice of capitalism is disregarded to our detriment. As we saw in the Hobbit debacle there is a huge gulf in the respective media abilities of the unions/workers and the corporations. Whilst unions/workers are reduced to reacting against the actions of the corporations there will never be an easy way to keep the status quo intact, let alone improve matters.

    I admit to be fascinated to seeing how the proposed plans to reduce the funding for the police turn out.

    And how come there is no connection being made between the dock workers and the Mfat employees? Surely exactly the same principles are at stake in both cases?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I worked for Heart of the City canvassing ratepayers about their thoughts on the propsed District plan changes in October and found that 99.9% of those I spoke to had no idea about the proposals. The only residents that agreed with the port expansion - about a dozen people out of the thousand I talked to - were business-minded folk who wanted to see "growth" or "progress". The fact is that neither POAL or Waterfront Auckland sought a mandate from residents for the extensions beyond including them in the district plans. Waterfront Auckland's executives showed up daily to harangue us and changed their future plans almost daily as public support grew. The playground that had just been built was scheduled to be removed again in the near future. By Day 2 its destruction had been rescheduled to happen in 5 years. The fact they are planning to pull down the oil tanks only to replace them with 4 story commercial buildings is civic vandalism. Who ever uses Princes Wharf nowwadays beyond Hilton Hotel guests and those who can still afford to dine at Euro? North Wharf should be retained as open park land rather than becoming another repository for tall buildings. The wharf expansion plans by POAL are equally as stupid.
    Imagine refurbishing the Northland rail line and running a track up Woodcocks Road to Warkworth and through Matakana to Omaha as well as a line to Marsden Point. We could then dump the plans for a Wellsford Motorway. I worked on the new Ruakaka development for a bit and the rail plans were agreed to years ago.
    As a long-time resident of both Warkworth and Waikanae I think the former's roading problems could be fixed by a rail link. Imagine the number of tourists who'd be keen on a Matakana day trip by train? Waikanae's roading problems could be fixed by putting through a bridge south at Otaihanga with a 30kph speed restriction through the beach area and a new northern link road (only a km or so of new road required) by the sewage ponds to Pekapeka. It would attract local traffic, reducing the load on SH1. The Maori tapu areas could be left relatively undisturbed and my fellow Waikanae firefighters would be called out to less fatalities on the SH1 passing lanes.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Andre,

    Would that train go through Kumeu?
    I love the things you describe here BTW.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Roger, in reply to Andre,

    99.9% of those I spoke to had no idea about the proposals...

    ‘There’s no point acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now.’

    'What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? For heaven’s sake mankind, it’s only four light years away you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs that’s your own lookout.

    ‘Energize the demolition beams.’

    Auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

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