The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) Port workers have agreed to temporarily lift their strike action until the 20th of March due to negotiations with the Lyttelton Port Company (LPC).
Union organiser John Kerr said the negotiations with the port tomorrow morning.
The port also agreed to pay the workers returning to work today regardless of whether there were ships ready to be serviced or not.
The port’s refusal to pay union members after a previous occasion when a strike notice was lifted has been a major discussion piece in the negotiations.
LPC Operations Manager Paul Monk says the withdrawal of the strike notices for the next six days will allow meaningful trade to begin to return to the Port.
“With this level of strike withdrawal notification, the shipping lines, exporters and importers will be able to reorganise their schedules to some extent, allowing at least a minimum amount of shipping to return to the Port.
“As a demonstration of good will and our commitment to resolving the dispute, LPC will pay the RMTU members who will be rostered to work on the days strike notices have been withdrawn (from 15 – 20 March). This is in spite of there being little work for them the next two days as there may be no ships in Port to service.
“While we realise uncertainty still remains beyond 20 March, with strike notices still in place for 21 to 25 March, what has happened today is a positive development.”