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Ports of Auckland and union closer to deal

The long-running Ports of Auckland industrial dispute is inching closer towards resolution, with both parties due to sit down again with a facilitator.

The port company and the Maritime Union began facilitation in May after a bitter dispute which led to strikes, lockouts and a proposal by the port company to make all its union staff redundant and contract their jobs out.

The union held a stop-work meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss the recommendations made by Employment Relations Authority chief member Alastair Dumbleton last month.

Both the union and port company have already said they're willing to work within the confines of the recommendations.

Maritime Union national president Garry Parsloe told NZ Newswire the two parties will meet with the facilitator again on Tuesday evening.

He hopes it will be an opportunity for the union to get some clarity around some of the facilitator's recommendations.

"We're hoping to get a clearer picture of exactly where we are and ask the facilitator where he wants to go," Mr Parsloe says.

"We'd like to think the end is in sight. We spoke about that at our meeting, it's gone on absolutely long enough."

However, a bit more dialogue is needed before an agreement is reached, Mr Parsloe says.

"I still think it needs a bit more negotiation before we can actually go back to ratification."

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson says he's "pretty optimistic" that a deal will be reached.

The details of the facilitator's recommendations are confidential.