The Union, its Officers and Members have been restrained by an Interim Order of the Employment Court from continuing to participate in the Strike Action, which commenced at 0800 hours on 6 August 2009, including the Union’s Directive of 5 August 2009 – a copy of the Employment Court Order attached.
The Union has been ordered to contact all members requesting members to desist from continuing to participate in the strike action.
The Union therefore directs all strike action cease until further notice.
The legality of the strike action will be further argued on Monday 10 August 2009 in the Employment Court in Wellington. The Union will vigorously assert the legality of the strike.
The hearing on Thursday which led to the Interim Injunction was undertaken by Telephone Conference Call between the Judge and the lawyers for the Fire Service, and the Union.
The Fire Service filed their application for an urgent Interim Injunction late on Thursday morning.
Included were a 12 page Statement of Claim and a 24 page Affidavit from Brett Warwick in his capacity as Acting Chief Executive.
Two Telephone Conference Calls between the Judge and the respective lawyers occurred – one at around 4.15pm and the last at around 5.15pm.
A short Affidavit on behalf of the Union was able to be provided to the Judge by the final 5.15pm Conference Call. This Affidavit attached Mike Hall’s Media Statement issued before strike action commenced, which advised that public safety was not in any way compromised.
Briefly put, the Fire Service’s argument related to a definition of the term “Fire Service Intranet”.
The Union changed the specific wording of the Strike Notice for the strike commencing on 6 August 2009. The Strike Notice advised a ban on the logging onto the Fire Service Intranet.
The Union believes it is well understood what the term “Intranet” means. The change in wording was designed to mitigate the strike action so as to allow the use of computers where access or logon to the Intranet was not required e.g. use of a laptop for Power Point presentations.
Unfortunately the Union’s good will has been abused by the Acting Chief Executive and presumably some other members of the S.M.T.
As noted above, the Union will be vigorously contesting the Acting Chief Executive’s assertion, in the Employment Court on Monday.
Very significant work will need to be undertaken by Union officials and the Union’s lawyers over the weekend. Members will be updated on developments as soon as possible.