Update 2 : Industrial Action at Lyttelton Port
Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) has now received strike notices from the Rail and Maritime Union New Zealand (RMTU) for nine consecutive days from 8-16 March inclusive.
LPC have challenged the validity of strike notices issued by RMTU for 8th – 14th March and our application for an interim injunction will be heard in court tomorrow (Saturday 3 March). We hope to get a decision this weekend.
Our contention is that the RMTU industrial action notices were not compliant with the Employment Relations Act due to their overlapping nature. This has presented LPC with a significant challenge in providing our customers with certainty about the strike impacts and the level of service we can maintain.
The RMTU industrial action will create significant disruption to Port services for customers and the region. This is extremely disappointing, especially given the current disruption to the South Island freight network caused by the recent cyclone Gita.
A mediation date has been set for Wednesday 7 March. We want the industrial dispute resolved but RMTU’s salary increase demands are unreasonable and unacceptable
Our contingency planning remains focused on reducing the impact of the industrial action on customers as much as possible. During the strike period it is unlikely we will be able to berth and work vessels however we are assessing what services we can provide during the strike period. Below is an update on our plans for R&D.
- Receival and Delivery of Cargo
We are still assessing our ability to offer receival and delivery services during the strikes. If we are able to offer this service it is likely to be for restricted periods only.
If we can provide receival and delivery of cargo services, we will continue to receive cargo for vessels scheduled to call at Lyttelton during the strike period. Shippers should, however, consult directly with their shipping lines to determine what contingency plans they may be considering or offering before bringing cargo into Port.
Where port omissions are likely and customers have the ability to hold cargo at their facilities, or at alternate facilities, we would appreciate these options being considered to assist with potential capacity issues at the Port which could result from cargo build up.
Due to the fluid nature of this situation we will continue to monitor our approach to receiving export cargo and keep you updated.
Arriving import cargo may face delays in clearance from the Port if it is not collected prior to 8th March, the first RMTU strike day. We strongly recommend importers arrange with their trucking company to collect import containers prior to 8th March if possible.
- CityDepot and MidlandPort unaffected
Neither CityDepot nor MidlandPort will be affected by the strikes. For those customers that use these facilities for full cargo, we are monitoring yard and rail capacity closely and will liaise with you if we start seeing a build up of cargo. If vessel calls are uncertain, we would ask that cargo is held on site where possible.
Please contact your Mondiale representative if more information is required.