Matt McCarten: Everyone in unionland smells a rat at the port – Best of Political Analysis – NZ Herald News

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By Matt McCarten

5:30 AM Sunday Sep 16, 2012

The prospect of contracting resulted in bitterness. Photo / Nigel Marple

In two weeks the wharfies union’s employment agreement lapses. The term of the document actually expired a year ago, but legally if a new agreement isn’t reached then it stays in force, protecting employees’ wages and conditions, for another 12 months.

On the 30th of this month union workers will default to individual contracts and then the Ports of Auckland could, according to my sources, restart their failed contracting-out campaign.

Most Aucklanders would have assumed the whole ports lockout earlier this year had been resolved months ago. After all, when the board’s bungling resulted in them having to lift the lockout of their workers you’d think they would have learned their lesson.

The board’s ideologue, Rob Campbell, spat the dummy and resigned. If the chairman and the chief executive had…

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