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Strike continues at Lyttelton Port

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/02/2017 Rebecca Howard

A strike at Lyttelton Port's container terminal will go ahead this weekend despite positive talks with the Maritime Union of New Zealand.

The planned industrial action for February 11 and 12 will proceed, and the Maritime Union has also issued a strike notice for February 17 and 19.

"While negotiations this week have been positive, MUNZ has not been prepared to withdraw these strike notices," port marketing manager Simon Munt said in a statement.

Mediated bargaining would resume next Wednesday "with a view to achieving a settlement very soon," he said.

A Maritime Union spokesman says "negotiations have progressed and we are keen to sign an agreement, but not any agreement".

Between 160 and 180 Lyttelton Port employees are part of the Maritime Union covered by the collective contract for the container terminal, which employs more than 250 people.

Port management wants to line up work rosters more closely with the company's operating needs.

The existing Lyttelton agreement was set to expire in March last year.

After 30 negotiations in the second half of 2016, union members unanimously voted to go on strike after rejecting a proposal by port management.

The outstanding issues were over planned changes to the start and finish times for night shift workers by up to four hours.

Mr Munt said the port had contingency plans for managing container shipping this weekend.

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