Automation plans could see Auckland port slash workforce by more than 10%

Automation plans could see Auckland port slash workforce by more than 10%

As New Zealand’s leading port gets more automated more than 10% of its workforce could be made redundant, it has warned today. Ports of Auckland said 53 of its 500 employees face the chop if it gets the go ahead to partially automate straddle operations at the site on the North Island of New Zealand. A six-week consultation between management and workers is now set to get underway.

A decision on the automation proposal will be made in early 2016, and any redundancies would take place once the straddle carriers are in place – by mid-2017 at the earliest.

“For anyone that works down at the port it is crippling news particularly for long serving loyal employees at the port,” said the secretary of the Auckland branch of the Maritime Union of New Zealand, Russell Mayn. He added that the union would fight the proposal.

Similar automation plans have seen Hutchison Port Holdings make 97 staff redundant last week across the Tasman Strait at its two Australian terminals, a move that has sparked a wave of protest.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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