Thanks to a worldwide demonstration of union solidarity, the Port of Auckland, New Zealand, has backed down from an unjust and unfair lockout of its longshore workforce.
According to Peter Leys, Dockers’ Section Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), a London-based association of more than 700 transportation-related unions, “This is a major victory for Auckland workers and for the trade union community around the world. International solidarity has played a huge role in bringing about this positive step forward on behalf of Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) and Auckland wharfies.
“This dispute has reached beyond the borders of the docking industry. There’s been action and support from seafarers, aviation workers, truck drivers, railway staff. This is about mass casualization, the contracting out of an entire workforce, and it struck a chord with workers all over the world who are fighting every day to protect their jobs.”
The Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO (MTD) was among those answering the call for solidarity. Last month at its executive board meeting, the MTD issued a statement calling upon the company to end its lockout at the request of an ITF and MTD affiliate, the International Longshoremen’s Association.