Thursday, 23 October 2008

I hope to be able to keep you up to date with union/port matters again soon.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you would like to see on this page.

Looks like we won't be getting much overtime!

NEPTUNE Orient Lines’ boss Ron Widdows is warning of grim times ahead for the container trades, with ships laid up and orders cancelled as the industry heads into an unprecedented slump. While the situation is not so bad now, the worst is yet to come, Mr Widdows told Lloyd’s List in an interview after yesterday announcing swingeing cuts in capacity. “We are in for a relatively unpleasant 18 months to two years,” he said. NOL’s container shipping arm APL has already started to re-let some ships back into the market over the last two months, and it will be laying up vessels, he said. “Others will have to do the same. From the industry standpoint, vessels will be idle.” Mr Widdows, who was attending the graduation ceremony of the Maritime Economics and Logistics students of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, said he was pleased that NOL only has eight newbuildings on order, and that “they are not really big”. These are due to enter service in 2011. The orderbook is “relatively small compared to the three largest carriers in the world”. “Every ship we employ can be employed anywhere on the planet,” Mr Widdows said. He added that the industry is about to see an “object lesson in the dynamics of the larger ship”. The costings only work when these gigantic ships are full and desperation could creep in when trying to fill these behemoths, he said.;jsessionid=4FA95A083478E0A45080216FDABDEDF7

Friday, 10 October 2008

Monthly meeting – October

Today (10th October) was the work force reps monthly meeting.

Matters that I brought up for the tug section were:

The messroom facilities, tables, microwaves, fridges, toilets etc.
Alun Yates has said that on Monday night he will bring our Health & safety Rep and the terminal manager to see the problems we have raised.
I also asked for more hard backed chairs to be supplied.

I asked, when are the VC’s going to be monitored on their performance?
Phil Pemberton said that they are monitored already.

I brought up the fact that people aren’t getting a call from the labour office telling them when they are getting redeployed, even when the decision had been made the day before.
Alun Yates was going to get onto the labour office again on this matter.

Employee services. LMS Self service. Sorry but when we log onto LMS we will have to use new passwords. Old passwords may be used after around three months.

If anybody is landed with a box and later finds out that the weight on your screen is different to the actual weight of the container please put in a near miss/unsafe practice report, after notifying the office. This way we might go a little way towards reducing the 160 accidents involving overturned cargo trucks on the British roads each year, or even stopping one of our workmates overturning. These boxes are supposed to be stowed in “H” block and the shipping company notified but this doesn’t seem to be happening.

Other matters discussed were:

Awake will be returning to the port to talk to all divisions about fatigue. Please don’t waste this opportunity if you see them in the mess rooms. Don’t forget they are here to talk about our fatigue not the state of messrooms etc!

Part shift overtime is coming…

Pay talks with the company start at 2pm on Weds 15th October.
I will report back as soon as possible.

Our working pattern will not be discussed until Awake have visited and reported back.

Hopefully John the C shift Berth opps rep will be reporting soon on the stevedores situation.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Port of Felixstowe Reaches Rail Volume Milestone

The Port of Felixstowe has broken through the 9,000 rail-moves-per-week barrier for the first time ever, with a total of 9,111 containers being handled through the Rail Division during the week ending 28th September 2008. The previous record of 8,984 units was achieved in the week ending 14th September 2007. The record-breaking rail volumes follow on from a number of key initiatives that have taken place at the Port in recent months. The South Rail Terminal has been extended by 39 metres on all three lines, so that it can now accommodate 22-wagon trains, as opposed to the 20-wagon trains it could handle previously.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd unaudited results for the six months ended 30th June 2008

Full report here:

Results of polls

60% were not happy with the rates of pay for overtime.
74% think that the current rates of pay are not fair or reasonable.
60% thought the representation they are getting from the union is poor. 40% thought it is average. 18 People said they do not trust the union!

This is our union, the work force. What would you like us to do for you? I'm trying to keep my collegues informed with all the latest happenings in health and safety and union matters such as the pay deal pension etc. It will only change if you use your voice and let people know whats bothering you.
I'd like people from other shifts/departments to join me in running this site so we have more than a "C" shift tug drivers opinion. If you're interested email me.

"C" shift reps are meeting on Friday. Have you anything that you'd like me to raise? Email me.