It is deeply disturbing that Ports of Auckland is prepared to spread confidential information from individual personnel files as part of a PR campaign against their workers’ campaign for secure jobs, the CTU said today.

Following media interviews given by Ports workers, a blogger has been publishing private information about their employment. CTU president Helen Kelly said information released on the blog over recent days included detailed information from staff personnel files, which only a few people in the company could realistically have had access to.

It has included details about a worker’s bereavement leave after the death of his wife, Helen Kelly said. “This amounts to the worst form of corporate thuggery. It is clear to us that Ports of Auckland is deliberately sending information to the blogger as part of its PR campaign against the workers. It is an obvious attempt to try and intimidate its workforce.”

 Other workers should be concerned that this doesn’t set a new bar for appropriate behaviour during employment negotiations, she said.

 “I would also be interested to hear from other businesses whether they think this sort of behaviour is appropriate in negotiations.”

The Maritime Union has made a privacy complaint to the Ports of Auckland, and is seeking a full apology and an undertaking that no further contact will be made between the Port and the blogger.