Tony Gibson - Asshole of the Week | The Jackal

14 Jan 2012

Tony Gibson - Asshole of the Week

We all know that the Ports of Auckland dispute has been dragging on for a long time now. It seems that at every potential step forward, something occurs that halts the resolution process. So why is this the case?

Despite an effective propaganda campaign being run by POAL management, the mainstream media and a number of right wing blogger's, a recently leaked document (PDF) shines a light on the mechanism responsible... and it turns out to be entirely the fault of POAL management.

Last Thursday, Scoop reported:

The Maritime Union have released a copy of a Ports of Auckland Limited management strategy document to contract out the port dating from before collective agreement negotiations commenced in 2011.
MUNZ National President Garry Parsloe says the document shows POAL management have been pursuing a deliberate strategy of ramping up the current industrial dispute while saying they want to resolve it.
The draft management plan sets out a comprehensive contracting out plan, disparages the ports owners and board of directors, and predetermines there is no intention of seeking a negotiated solution.

The Ports of Auckland’s Labour Strategy document also shows a conceited and concerted effort on the part of POAL senior management to manipulate the situation. They even consider what the effect of a threat/actual loss of Maersk would have on the dispute process… something planned out in detail.

Incredibly the document outlines POAL management intentionally setting out to cause the industrial dispute and how they would manipulate the situation to their advantage to reduce Union membership, in clear breach of the Employment Relations Act 2000, which states:

4 Parties to employment relationship to deal with each other in good faith(1) The parties to an employment relationship specified in subsection (2)—
(a) must deal with each other in good faith; and
(b) without limiting paragraph (a), must not, whether directly or indirectly, do anything—
(i) to mislead or deceive each other; or
(ii) that is likely to mislead or deceive each other.
It is a breach of subsection (1) for an employer to advise, or to do anything with the intention of inducing, an employee—
(a) not to be involved in bargaining for a collective agreement; or
(b) not to be covered by a collective agreement.

In short, the document shows that POAL; fabricated a crisis with Maersk, potentially acted without a majority of stakeholder’s support, illegally planned to employ full time scabs, actively planned on how to weaken if not destroy the Union, proposed to cut wages by 20% to increase efficiency, acted in breach of the Employment Relations Act, set objectives without proper risk assessment, mislead the board by claiming that any potential strike action would be illegal and falsely claimed Union worker's didn't give the port enough flexibility.

Instead of adopting one of the alternative options outlined, POAL management have chosen to deliberately increase tensions. In doing so, they ignored one of the Ports of Auckland’s main objectives; to supply sustainable customer service.

Page three of the POA Labour Strategy states that one of the considered objectives is to have a sustainable customer service, which would require no actual or threatened industrial action. The strategy shows that POAL management knew what their decisions would instigate, and that the resulting industrial action would negatively affect sustainable customer service… therefore they also acted outside of the ports objectives.

Tony Gibson needs to resign... but for now he's an Asshole Award winner.