Lyttelton Port workers to strike again over pay and work hours

First@Five 06/04/2018

Lyttelton Port workers will strike again if their issues around unsafe working conditions and unequal pay between other port workers go unresolved. 

Organiser for the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) John Kerr joined James Coleman to discuss continued industrial disputes over a strike notice to the Lyttleton Port Company.

Mr Kerr said they will go on strike from April 20 if they can't reach an agreement with the Port.

Union workers can expect to work up to 16 hours in a 24 hour period without knowing how long their shift will be beforehand. Labouring while overtired puts the safety of RMTU workers at risk, said Mr Kerr.

According to RMTU, workers from the rival union in the same port are earning more money and have more flexible working hours.

“They have had no changes to their hours of work and they’re earning more than our guys,” Mr Kerr told RadioLIVE.

“It’s not just or fair that people doing exactly the same work… should be paid differently.”

Mr Kerr believes Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter Davie is in denial over the discrepancy, downplaying the issue because “…there aren’t many of them."

He stressed that there are 14 days left to resolve this issue and wishes for a meaningful negotiation.

Listen to the full interview with John Kerr above.

First@Five with James Coleman, 5am - 6am Monday To Friday, on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.