Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) working at the Port of Timaru have this afternoon issued a third strike notice following on from the two issued earlier this week.
RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr says this gives notice of a further 24 hour strike on Saturday 18th December, following on from those notified for Thursday 16th December and Friday 17th December.
‘Earlier in the week we indicated we may issue more strike notices as we have a mandate from for strike action through to Christmas Eve. It is not our wish to disrupt the regional supply chain but to date the employers have not indicated a willingness to amend their previously expressed positions of offering below inflation wage adjustments. This leaves us with little choice but to use the one blunt instrument the law allows us to try and change the employer’s minds.’
‘The RMTU has been in negotiations for a Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) with Prime Port Timaru and Quality Marshalling since May and the employers have made it clear they would prefer not to enter into a MECA and have countered our claim for an 8% pay increase with offers that are below the current rate of inflation.’
‘Our members have kept cargo moving across the wharves throughout the pandemic, around the clock and in all weathers, they are essential workers and deserve some recognition of their service to the community and the national economy.’
‘’The employers have indicated they will attend mediation so we remain hopeful we can reach an agreement in the two weeks before industrial action is due to commence.’