Maritime workers send strong message on Fair Pay Agreements


The Maritime Union is backing Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) and says any attacks on workers rights will be strongly resisted, whether by Government or employers.

The Government plans to introduce legislation to repeal FPAs.


Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the maritime industry has seen the bad effects of competition based on pushing down wages and conditions for workers for decades.


He says Fair Pay Agreements would bring up the wages and conditions of the most vulnerable workers.


“The New Zealand economy and business profits have been propped up by workers in some of the toughest jobs and industries who have been ripped off for decades.”

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The Maritime Union had been working on a FPA for the port industry and had widespread support from port workers, says Mr Harrison.


“When the Government talks about flexibility for employers, all it means in the port industry and other vulnerable industries is a race to the bottom with worse wages, poorer conditions and dangerous workplaces.”


“The right of workers for secure jobs and liveable wages and conditions, and a decent life for themselves and their families, comes before flexibility.”


Mr Harrison says by repealing FPA legislation, the Government is sending a message the worst employers will be enabled to continue exploitative and destructive employment practices.


Mr Harrison says strong progress had been made in recent years in improving job security, wages and conditions, and health and safety in New Zealand ports, and this was now in danger through the Government’s agenda.


“The old model of competing by attacking your workforce did a lot of damage to the port industry and more intelligent employers now recognize this. It is a shame the Government does not.”


Mr Harrison says it is telling how the same politicians preaching flexibility and competition for vulnerable workers have their own generous pay and conditions set by the Remuneration Authority.




  1. The worst employers, and there are plenty, get the message very clearly.
    Their worst practices will be condoned by govt.
    Their employees can be considered expendable…in the name of profit.


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