ACV Transcom Maritime

ACV Transcom Maritime

Dockworkers urged to support 13 January action week for Port of Lisbon

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 08 Jan, 2014 23:26
The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) have pledged their support in a meeting on 17 December, for dockworkers in Lisbon who have been under prolonged attack from their government and employers.

Working conditions for Portuguese dockworkers, particularly those at the port of Lisbon, have been deteriorating since the government adopted the new Port Law on 1 February this year. The ETF and IDC heard reports that the bargaining process has been frozen, and that employers have attempted to establish a new labour pool of non-union workers to replace existing professional dockworkers. On top of this, 47 dockworkers at Lisbon port have reportedly been dismissed with no rightful reason.

The ETF and IDC promised to support the union in tackling these deteriorating conditions, particularly to press for social dialogue, an end to union-busting, and the reinstatement of the 47 dismissed dockworkers as key aims for the campaign. Both organisations and the ITF see the Portuguese situation as part of a bigger challenge faced by dockworkers all over Europe. European legislation and infringement mechanisms have been used to try to undermine national laws and dockers’ conditions elsewhere including in Spain and Greece. More recently, the Belgian government has also come under pressure.

The campaign will pick up during the week of 13 January, when dockworkers across Europe are due to take action at their local Portuguese embassy. Affiliates are urged to show their support for the workers in Lisbon and their determination to defend the rights of dockworkers across Europe by seeking to meet with the head of the embassy and staff responsible for labour relations to highlight the concerns above. Legal rallies and protests are also encouraged. Please send photographs of your action and messages of support for the Lisbon dockers to

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Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 17 Dec, 2013 19:09

ACV Transcom at the Port of Zeebrugge in Solidarity with locked out IKEA workers

ACV Transcom Water is worried with the ongoing developments at IKEA in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. 350 fellow workers have been locked out with no pay for 7 months after they rejected a company offer that included the imposition of a tiered wage structure.

IKEA’s lockout of 350 workers in Canada is not the first instance of anti-worker, anti-union behavior by IKEA. In May, IKEA workers from 16 countries met to discuss IKEA’s retaliation against workers in Turkey. The Turkish union that represents IKEA workers reports that the company had fired at least 12 workers for joining the union.

An International fact-finding mission formed by International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and UNI Global Union held hearings on the lockout last month. Their conclusions are released in a report: "How IKEA is Hurting Families: Report on the IKEA Lockout in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada."

ITF President Paddy Crumlin said the report calls on IKEA to end the lockout and return to the bargaining table in good faith immediately. "We and our counterparts from around the world are gathering and demonstrating to put the case for a settlement that respects the needs, aspirations and strengths of IKEA workers."

Dockworkers at ports in Sweden, the Netherlands, Japan, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Canada are taking action in support of the 350 Teamsters Local 213.

For more information on the dispute:

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ACV Transcom solidair met de Noorse Risavika Dockers

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 27 Nov, 2013 16:40

Risavika terminal weigert om een CAO te tekenen met onze colleaga’s van de Norwegian Transport Worker's Union (NTF). Ze laten niet toe dat havenarbeiders werken in overeenstemming met de nationale CAO en volgens ILO 137. Risavika Terminal erkent de ITF cargo handling clausule niet, bemanningsleden behandelen er de lading.

Sinds 1 november is er een staking bezig op de terminal. Deze staking is erkend en word ondersteund door de Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, UNIO, Parat, ITF en vele internationale vakbonden.

NTF says NO to social dumping – YES to collective agreements and decent wages and working conditions. ACV Transcom says the same.

Vandaag werden er acties gevoerd ter ondersteuning van het sociaal conflict. Niet enkel op de terminal zelf, wereldwijd werden Noorse ambassades bezocht door vertegenwoordigers van transportvakbonden om de problematiek aan te kaarten.

ACV Transcom koos ervoor om ook op deze manier solidariteit te tonen en stuurde een delegatie naar het Norway House in Brussel. Onze delegatie werd ontvangen door vertegenwoordigers van de ambassade. De problematiek in Risavika was hen niet onbekend.

Een brief (zie hieronder) van Algemeen Sector verantwoordelijke Michel Claes werd door Michael Voet aan ambassadeur Niels Engelschiøn overhandigd.

An Injury to One is an Injury to All !

Dear Mr Ambassador Niels Engelschiøn,

We are writing to you regarding the situation in Risavika Terminal. For your easy reference, please find attached leaflet explaining that situation.

ACV Transcom is a member of the International Transportworkers’ Federation (ITF), which represents more than 325,000 dockers around the world. We are concerned over the treatment of workers belonging to our fellow affiliate, the NTF.

We understand that the Risavika Management Board has refused to sign up to the national agreement covering dockworkers. We fully support the boycott action our colleagues in the NTF have taken in response to this. Further, we are outraged to learn that the Risavika Management Board is, or is intending to, use seafarers to carry out dockers’ cargo handling tasks in order to cut costs. This is in direct contravention of the ITF dockers’ clause and will not be tolerated by the ITF dockers’ community.

We herewith would urge you to request the Risavika Management Board to reconsider their position regarding both the national agreement and cargo handling arrangements as a matter of urgency.

We, along with our many colleagues around the globe, will be watching this dispute with interest and will not hesitate to take lawful action in support of workers at Risavika terminal should it not be resolved in the near future.

Yours truly,

Michel Claes
General Secretay ACV Transcom

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Unite campaign escalates as first vessel calls at London Gateway

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 10 Nov, 2013 17:12
European dockers’ unions are showing support for ITF affiliate Unite, as they continue their campaign for trade union rights at London Gateway, which has officially opened for business this week.

The first vessel, MOL Caledon, docked at the new DPW operated terminal on Wednesday night (5 November) to be met by a demonstration. A Unite delegation went on to meet the vessel at its next port of call in Rotterdam, where further actions were staged with the backing of the local union, FNV Bondgenoten.

On Tuesday, 30 representatives from EU dockers’ unions affiliated to the ETF (European Transport Workers’ Union) the European arm of the ITF, and the International Dockworkers’ Council, met at the Unite offices in London and released a statement pledging support. The statement reads: “The meeting agreed that the behaviour exhibited by DP World at London Gateway was symptomatic of a wider attack on trade unions in the European ports sector. The meeting resolved to coordinate support for UNITE the Union by all lawful means to achieve its legitimate demands for union recognition at London Gateway and to ensure that DPW London Gateway re-commits to the process of negotiation with UNITE to allow a timetable to be developed jointly which covers union access and company neutrality.”

Practical support from other European unions has also been secured with various actions expected over the coming weeks at ports receiving vessels from London Gateway.

Klik hier voor de DP World London Gateway Statement.

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Victory for dockers in Rotterdam

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 25 Oct, 2013 22:04

Workers in the Port of Rotterdam have secured a new agreement with their employer, global network terminal operator (GNT) APMT, following weeks of tense negotiations and industrial action.

FNV Bondgenoten had been in dispute with management over the terms and conditions of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) at the Maasvlakte II terminal, but has now finalised a favourable set of terms for workers.

When dockers in Rotterdam started their action, Maersk Line diverted ships to Antwerp. The union has thanked dockers from across Europe for their solidarity during the dispute. National secretary of FNV ports Niek Stam said, “We acknowledge that we wouldn’t be able to realise this without the support of the unions. To negotiate without pressure on cargo is impossible". During a meeting last week members of both the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and International Dockworkers Council (IDC) pledged their support, and individual actions have been carried out in the days leading up to the agreement.

The United Dockworkers’ Unions Front in Belgium showed solidarity through the delay of several Maersk vessels in Antwerp and the distribution of materials letting crews know about the situation in Rotterdam.

Actions also took place in Gothenburg, Arhuus, Germany and Poland. APMT unions in the Arab World also stood ready to take action, when news of the agreement came.

ITF president and dockers’ chair Paddy Crumlin said: “We welcome the outcome of these negotiations. Despite a challenging environment, both sides have come to the table and the result is positive for workers.

“There have been strong displays of solidarity around this dispute and we can now see the very real impact of those actions. Standing together we can achieve a great deal and this latest success is a clear example of that.”

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FNVB reaches agreement with APMT

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 24 Oct, 2013 20:12
Dear Friends,

Below is a message from FNV Bondgenoten notifying that an agreement with APMT in Rotterdam has been reached yesterday. We thank you all those who have provided support in this dispute.

Best regards,

Livia Spera
Political Secretary for Dockers and Fisheries
ETF (European Transport Workers' Federation)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are proud to inform you all that we just reached an agreement with the management of APMT MV II. We finalized this in a long session today and last weekend.

We acknowledge that we wouldn’t be able to realize this without the support of the unions.

We want to thank you and your members who showed real solidarity in this battle. We all know that more battles will come in the near future. And we are proud to show solidarity to others if needed.

Our members at the APMT Rotterdam terminal are aware that they have to be ready to show this when needed.

In solidarity,

Niek Stam
National Secretary FNV Ports

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Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 24 Oct, 2013 19:57

Sinds vorige week zijn er op de APM terminal in Rotterdam syndicale acties. Op de tweede Maasvlakte mogen de havenarbeiders pas aan het werk gaan nadat zij tot 10.000€ per jaar inleveren. Dat was toch de droom van de onderneming.

Omwille van de acties zijn de schepen in grote getale afgeleid naar o.a. de Belgische havens.

Via ETF en IDC is er Europese solidariteit gevraagd. In diverse landen zijn er solidariteitsacties geweest. Ook in Antwerpen.

Zo hebben we op dinsdagavond op Deurganckdok en woensdagmiddag op 913 de “ besmette” schepen van Maersk (mede-eigenaar terminal) een uur geblokkeerd.

Dat was een zeer krachtig signaal voor de onderhandelaars in Nederland welke op woensdag samen zaten.

Mede door deze Europese druk is er gisteren laat een akkoord bereikt.

In bijlage vind je de pamfletten welke wij verspreid hebben en het persbericht van de Nederlandse collega’s.

Onnodig te vermelden dat wij rekenen op de solidariteit van onze Nederlandse collega’s indien bij ons actie wordt gevoerd. Dit hebben ze ook toegezegd.

Samen staan we sterk!

Pamflet GVHA 22 oktober 2013 "het APMT MV II – MAERSK conflict in de Haven van Rotterdam"; Klik hier om te lezen.
Pamflet GVHA 24 oktober 2013 "Solidariteit Loont!" ; Klik hier om te lezen.
Pamflet FNV Havens & CNV Vakmensen; Klik hier om te lezen.

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Havenarbeiders Solidair met hun Rotterdamse collega's

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 22 Oct, 2013 20:57

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Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 07 Oct, 2013 22:58

Op 11 juli 2013 tijdens de ITF “Dockers’ Section Conference”, een internationale bijeenkomst van haven-vakbondsvertegenwoordigers aangesloten bij de ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) in Chicago (USA), werd besloten een wereldwijde campagne op poten te zetten om te wijzen op de absolute noodzaak dat de Global Network Terminal operator DP-World onderhandelingen zou opstarten met de vakbonden over de vakbondsrechten en –vertegenwoordiging in een aantal landen.
De afgevaardigden waren het erover eens dat actie broodnodig is, meer in het bijzonder met betrekking tot de situatie op de terminal van London Gateway (Verenigd Koninkrijk), waar het aanbod van UNI-TE om met de vakbonden samen te werken hooghartig werd afgewezen door de plaatselijke DP-World directie. Op de bijeenkomst in Chicago verklaarde Steve BIGGS, vakbondsvertegenwoordiger van UNITE: “Wat we in London Gateway meemaken is het puur afwijzen van het recht op onderhandelen over belan-gen van de werknemers. Dit is niet de manier waarop wij van een werkgever verwachten en kunnen dulden dat hij zich in de 21e eeuw gedraagt.”.
Klik hier voor het pamflet van het Gemeenschappelijk Vakbondsfront Haven van Antwerpen (PDF File) met meer achtergrondinformatie over de actie van vandaag.

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C Ladybug crew finally paid, but not by ship-owner

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 04 Sep, 2013 16:08

The ITF in Belgium has come to the aid of the crew of a vessel detained in Antwerp since March. The Chinese crew of the C Ladybug were left stranded with low provisions and no pay after the Taiwanese owner failed to pay its bills. The crew's plight received considerable media attention, and led to a visit by the Chinese ambassador and proposed solidarity action by dockers in the port.

The ship's cook and engineer have now been repatriated after 14 months on boar. The remaining cargo is discharged and the crew has been paid their June, July and August wages by the cargo owners. On board 11 crewmembers with provisions for about 1 month. The ship will now return to her waiting berth at the Deurganckdok in the port of Antwerp.

ITF inspector for ACV Transcom Christian Roos said: “We are pleased that the crew received their wages and fresh water and provisions are stored. The remaining crew are satisfied with these positive developments. However we are concerned for the future as the ship-owner, up till today, has not taken up his responsibilities towards his crew. We are wondering when he will start to pay crew wages, provide provisions and gasoil for the vessel.” He thanked the people, organisations and authorities who supported the crew.

The company received Chapter 11 by the US court in Houston end of July. The Chapter Eleven court has given approval to continue in the ordinary course to pay employees and crew, to maintain the P and I cover and to cover the operating expenses. Something what has not been applied yet for the C Ladybug crew.

Michel Claes, General Secretary for ITF affiliated ACV Transcom says: “We will monitor, together with our ITF inspector, the situation on board up till departure of the vessel and give our support to the crew where and when possible.”

Meanwhile, the ITF in Malta has won a warrant for the arrest of the sister ship A Ladybug and has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the crew.

The Panama-flagged vehicle carrier with a crew of 21 Filipino seafarers and a Pakistani captain were left stranded 15 nautical miles off Malta last month due to the owner's financial difficulties. The crew were left without fuel and with limited food and water, and had not been paid for some months. The Maltese authorities provided fuel and permission for the vessel to enter its waters, and the ITF in Malta has been working with the crew to win their owed wages and arrange their repatriation.

The crew of the B Ladybug have also contacted the ITF in Malta for help in securing back pay and repatriation.

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Positieve doorbraak in dossier C Ladybug

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 26 Aug, 2013 14:55

De C Ladybug ligt sinds 17 maart 2013 in het Deurganckdok aan de ketting omdat de rederij openstaande rekeningen heeft. Naar aanleiding van het in voege treden van de Maritieme arbeidsconventie, op 20 augustus vorige week, werd de schrijnende situatie met de bemanning aan boord de afgelopen week uitvoerig toegelicht in de pers.

Heden kunnen wij melden dat de grootste problemen nu van de baan zijn. Wij kregen vandaag bevestiging dat de achterstallige lonen en het loon voor augustus zullen worden betaald. Tijdens het weekend werden de kok en de engineer, die zijn dochtertje nog niet had gezien sinds haar geboorte, naar huis gerepatrieerd. Daarmee zijn alle bemanningsleden die einde contract waren, afgemonsterd. Provisies zijn er voldoende voor 1 maand ver. De rederij heeft het schip geïnformeerd dat er tegen eind deze week brandstof zal worden geleverd.

Christian Roos, ITF inspector voor ACV Transcom zegt: “ Wij verheugen ons over deze positieve ontwikkeling. De resterende bemanning is opgelucht en tevreden met dit voor hen langverwachte nieuws. Wij blijven de situatie nu verder op de voet volgen, tot het schip terug afvaart. Tevens willen wij iedere betrokken persoon, organisatie en instantie bedanken voor hun medewerking en solidariteit in dit dossier.”

Alles wordt nu in gereedheid gebracht om binnenkort de resterende lading te lossen. De mogelijke solidariteitsacties van de havenarbeiders worden terug in de kast opgeborgen.

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Dock union leaders mobilise forces in key disputes

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 14 Jul, 2013 08:31

Belgium dockers showed solidarity with locked out US workers during the conference

Building the power of port unions across the board, campaigning globally and fighting back against union busting tactics. Those were the key commitments from delegates at the ITF dockers’ section conference in Chicago, USA, this week.

A number of key disputes were highlighted by the group, which included dockers’ union representatives from across the world.

One of the most prominent concerns global network terminal operator (GNT) DP World, over its reluctance to negotiate on trade union rights in London Gateway terminal, UK, and ongoing negotiations in the Port of Brisbane, Australia. Delegates resolved to organise a campaign to highlight the issue.

In addition to the resolution passed on DP World, there were also emergency motions regarding support for port workers in Israel where the government has announced the establishment of two new ports, and for workers at the Port of Newcastle, Australia where the employer is attempting to weaken workers’ rights through alterations to their working agreements.

There were further calls for international solidarity over: the grain dispute on the West Coast of America, which has seen hundreds of members from ITF-affiliated union the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) locked out long term at the Ports of Vancouver and Portland; the ongoing dispute on contracting out and union busting at the Port of Auckland, New Zealand; the moves towards liberalisation of port work by the European Union; and the general rise of automation and promotion of precarious work by employers.

In addition, support was pledged to Moroccan trade unionist Said Elhairech, who was imprisoned for charges relating to trade union activities last year. He was freed following a high profile ITF campaign and there is now a drive to get the only charge remaining against him, which regards freedom of association, dropped. Get more on the campaign here.

Addressing delegates, ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: “Some of the action we commit to in this room will determine labour standards including through union recognition and legitimate bargaining rights. World trade is growing exponentially and if it is to continue to do so functionally, international dockworker labour rights and decent standards need to be respected and not undermined.”

Bron: ITF news

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Port unions resolve to organise campaign against DPW

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 11 Jul, 2013 14:27

ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) dockers’ union representatives meeting in Chicago, USA, resolved this week to organise a global campaign highlighting the need for global network terminal operator (GNT) DP World to engage with unions over trade union rights/representation in a number of countries.

The representatives agreed that action is required, particularly with regards the situation at London Gateway terminal, UK, where Unite the Union’s offer of cooperative working is being snubbed. Speaking from the Chicago meeting Steve Biggs from Unite said: “What we’re seeing at London Gateway is a rejection of the workers’ choice. This is not the way we expect, or can allow, an employer to behave in the 21st century.”

Meanwhile in the Port of Brisbane, Australia, representatives are calling for transparency in negotiations between the Maritime Union of Australia and DP World. Workers in Brisbane have beendealing with issues of representation, job losses, contracting out, casualisation and a possible cut in working conditions as a result of planned automation.

ITF president and dockers’ section chair Paddy Crumlin said: “We have called on ITF dockers’ and seafarers’ unions to make action ready which will force DPW back to the negotiating table over London Gateway in particular. Our unions have been open to dialogue throughout these disputes and where that is being reciprocated we welcome it, but we are not prepared to ignore the cases where DP World looks like it is ignoring its responsibilities to workers.”

The dockers’ meeting agreed a resolution, which stated:

The ITF Dockers’ Section Conference held in Chicago on 8-9 July 2013;

BELIEVES that Dubai Ports World is systematically attempting to undermine the wages and workingconditions of workers all over the world by engaging in anti-union behaviour, including:

· Refusing to enter into meaningful negotiations with UNITE and refusing to sign a collective agreement to cover workers presently being hired at its new London Gateway Terminal;

· Refusing to recognise Madras Port Trust Employees’ Union, the legitimate union representing workers in Chennai, India, and promoting a yellow union entirely controlled by the management of Chennai Container Terminal Ltd, which owned by Dubai Ports World;

· Hiring port workers out of the official port workers’ register, with the objective of not negotiating a CBA with the union SUTRAMPORPC, even when the Peruvian Ministry has recognised the Union does have a branch collective agreement in Callao, that should be respected;

· Denying the right of freedom of association to workers at International Container Transhipment Terminal, a Dubai Ports World hub terminal in Cochin, India;

· Not renewing the collective agreement at Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT-DPW), which expired in August2012;

· Using the introduction of automated machinery at its Brisbane, Australia terminal as a cover for undermining union organisation, insisting on massive job cuts and the transfer of some union jobs to management.

DECLARES Dubai Ports World London Gateway to be a Port of Convenience, and to be a priority target for the ITF’s Port of Convenience campaign.

CALLS UPON the ITF to develop and strengthen ongoing coordination of global union organization in all Dubai Ports World terminals.

FURTHERS CALLS UPON the ITF to organise a global campaign to highlight Dubai Ports World’s anti-union activities, including a global day of action in September 2013. The campaign should involve unions representing dock workers at other terminal operators, and should also reach out to unions representing workers at Dubai Ports World who are not affiliated to the ITF.

CONCLUDES that the campaign shall have the following demands:

• Dubai Ports World shall recognise legitimate unions and immediately begin negotiations for collective agreements at London Gateway, Chennai, and all other Dubai Ports World terminals,; and

• Where Dubai Ports World seeks to introduce automation to its terminals, that this be done with full union consultation and a genuine attempt to prevent job losses.

For more on London Gateway see

For more about the Brisbane situation see

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Antwerp port strike ends following agreement over dockers’ work

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 09 Jul, 2013 19:26
A strike in the Port of Antwerp, Belgium which began after union delegates were refused entry to a warehouse during a routine inspection, has come to an end.

ITF- and ETF-affiliated unions ACV Transcom, ABVV-BTB, ACLVB were all involved in the action which ran for six days from 26 June. The unions stopped all cargo at Katoen Natie terminal after delegates were barred from entering a warehouse where they suspected non-dockworker agency staff from Poland were doing dockers’ work. It is thought this was being facilitated through transshipment and goods storage company, Logisport.

Following a strained second conciliation attempt between unions and the Katoen Natie Group that lasted for more than nine hours, a satisfactory agreement was reached which stipulates that no retaliation measures will be taken following the strike and that all compensation claims against the dock workers will be abandoned. The Social Inspection Services of the Federal Government Administration was present to establish any violations of the Law on Dock Labour, which restricts dock work to registered dock labourers. It was agreed that social dialogue between the unions and the employer over the conclusions of the social inspection services and the Law on Docker Labour will take place and issues will be addressed and resolved by 31 October 2013.

A recommendation was also made by the mediator that the employer comply with the Law on Dock Labour and look at its use of companies like Logisport, which was specifically refered to.

Marc Loridan, federal secretary of the ports of Belgium BTB said: “We would like to thank dock workers in Antwerp, for their committment to bringing this difficult situation to a satisfactory ending and their efforts in helping to preserve the status of dock labourers. This is part of a wider attack on the dockers’ profession and it’s something that we’re just not prepared to accept.”

In a similar vein, general secretary for the maritime section of ACV Transcom Michel Claes said: “This case doesn’t stand in isolation. It sits within the framework of attacks coming from the European Commission and other powerful lobbies. The objective is to liberalise port labour and lower standards in order to lower costs for port users, that’s quite clear to us.”

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ETF Press Release - European Social Dialogue Committee for Ports

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 20 Jun, 2013 08:10
Today, Wednesday 19 June 2013, the formal inauguration of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC) for the Port sector takes place in the Métropole Hotel in Brussels. It marks the end of 15 years of pushing for its establishment by the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) that is already represented in six SSDCs. ETF Chair for the Dockers’ Section, Terje Samuelsen, states: “We look forward to contributing to a body in which both parties, notwithstanding their different views, are ready to engage in open and meaningful debates to improve the working conditions of our port workers.”

It was in 2007, after the defeat of to the two port packages and almost 10 years after ETF’s first request for its set-up, that the European employers’ organisations agreed on the principle to form a European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports.

Terje Samuelsen comments: “After six years of hard work and overcoming many obstacles, I am very happy we have finally arrived to the launch of our Social Dialogue Committee. However, this is only the beginning. The real work to improve the sector and the living and working conditions of its workforce is yet to start.”

ETF Political Secretary for Dockers, Livia Spera, added: “European Social Dialogue only works if all involved social partners value it and if its work is backed by healthy and well developed social dialogues at national level. The ETF is ready to invest and engage in meaningful and open dialogue and expects the other organisations involved do likewise.”

In the European Social Dialogue Committee for the Port Sector, the following social partners are represented: the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the International Dockworkers Council (IDC), the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), the Federation of European Private Port Operators (FEPORT).

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Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 28 May, 2013 15:43

Under the combative slogan “From Global Crisis to Global Justice – European Transport Workers Fighting Back!”, the European Transport Workers’ Federation welcomes from 29 to 31 May 2013 more than 400 participants from over 30 European countries in its fourth Congress, organised in Berlin. As recognised European Social Partner in six, soon seven, European sectoral social dialogue committees, the ETF considers transport workers have to play a decisive role in mobilising for a social and solidary Europe. In the three days of Congress, the ETF members will discuss the Federation’s work programme for the next 4 years and the strategy to fight for global justice.

At this three day event, delegates will define the ETF objectives and actions to be undertaken in the course of the next mandate with regard to transport policy and sustainable transport, labour and trade union rights, organising globally, trade union capacity building and cross-borderrepresentation and coordination. The Congress meets every four years and is the most important governing body of the ETF which also elects the President, the General Secretary and the Executive Committee.

Current ETF General Secretary, Eduardo Chagas, who is also candidate for a next mandate, comments: “Trade union strength is more important than ever as the war on labour continues to intensify. By giving priority, amongst others, to capacity building of its affiliates, the ETF aims to significantly contribute to strengthening its impact on European level and ensure their voice is respected and taken into account by the European institutions and all ETF’s counterparts.”

Lars Lindgren, current ETF President adds: “There lies a huge task ahead of us, in a Europe where more and more people are struggling to preserve what was obtained in the past, let alone to improve their living and working conditions. But it is worth the fight and I truly believe that the ETF can make a difference and has already proved its power many times.”

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Bemanning Larkspur en Gardenia op weg naar huis

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 03 May, 2013 11:20

Vorige week ging de ferry operator TSL op de fles. Fondsen om de bemanningen van de Larkspur en Gardenia hun 3 maanden loon uit te betalen en naar huis te brengen, zijn er niet meer.

Enkele bemanningsleden vertrokken eerder deze week huiswaarts. Voor de meerderheid moest er een oplossing worden gezocht om hen thuis te krijgen.

Deze ochtend omstreeks 8:30 vertrok de resterende bemannig per autocar richting thuisland.

De autocar werd gestuurd door Capt. Predrag Brazzoduro van de Seafarers' Union of Croatia (SUC) en zal de bemanning op verschillende bestemmingen afzetten. Eens ter plaatse zullen de mensen van SUC, indien nodig, hen verder assisteren om thuis te geraken. Iedereen kreeg van ACV een lunchpakket mee.

ACV Transcom organiseerde 4 ticketten voor de bemanningsleden die eerder deze nacht naar de luchthaven werden gebracht om per vliegtuig af te reizen.

Michel Claes, algemeen sectorverantwoordelijke groep water: Dit drama waarbij opnieuw een ferry operator op het kanaal de boeken neerlegt, bewijst dat internationale solidariteit meer dan nodig is, ook in onze achtertuin. De moordende concurrentie in de transportwereld brengt uitbuiting steeds dichterbij. Het ACV zal, waar nodig en gevraagd, onze buitenlandse broeders en zusters bijstaan, zowel logistiek als financieel.

Christian Roos, ITF Inspector voor ACV Transcom: De bemanning is nu naar huis maar hun loon hebben ze nog niet. Namens de bemanning werd gisteren voor de onbetaalde lonen beslag gelegd op beide schepen. We zijn nu vertrokken voor een juridische strijd die jaren kan duren alvorens er tot uitbetaling kan worden over gegaan.

Wordt vervolgd.

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World dockers back London Gateway solution

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 18 Apr, 2013 10:16
World dockers’ union representatives meeting in London today unanimously backed the involvement of Unite the Union at the London Gateway terminal.

Speaking from the meeting of the ITF’s dockers’ section committee, which brings together ports union leaders from around the world, ITF president and dockers’ section chair Paddy Crumlin stated: “The situation is simple. London Gateway is a major DP World project. DP World is firmly on record as valuing the contribution of workers and unions. Unite the Union is equally committed to a positive outcome at London Gateway. The company should be talking to them right now about how to achieve that.”

ITF dockers’ section secretary Sharon James added: “There is a clear pathway to successful labour relations at London Gateway. Unite are on that pathway already. The ITF invites DP World to join them.”

The meeting passed the following resolution:

This meeting of the ITF Dockers’ Steering Committee, comprising seventeen dockers’ unions affiliated to the ITF, meeting in London on 17 April 2013;

Notes that London Gateway is a flagship terminal being developed by DP World.

Notes that Unite the Union has sought to engage DP World in a meaningful discussion over union recognition at London Gateway, most recently in a meeting with London Gateway management on 16 April 2013, and also on several previous occasions in the past 12 months.

Expresses concern that the management of London Gateway has not opened any constructive discussions with Unite the Union, and that this may be evidence of an intention to exclude trade unions from the terminal.

Notes that on the basis of previous discussions with DP World global management, that the ITF has received assurances that DP World values co-operative relations with trade unions.

Calls for the ITF Dockers’ Section, including all affiliated unions, to support any necessary lawful action to ensure that DP World London Gateway respects the principles of co-operative industrial relations and trade union rights.

Notes that this will require DPW London Gateway to allow full access for Unite the Union to its employees, and to demonstrate good faith in all elements of the union recognition process.

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All On the Same Ocean - Video of the Hong Kong Dockworker's Strike

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 18 Apr, 2013 10:13

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Australian maritime workers arrive in Hong Kong to stand side-by-side with Kwai Chung dockworkers

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 18 Apr, 2013 10:09
In a mark of international solidarity, a delegation of Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) unionists and rank-and-file workers has arrived in Hong Kong to join the Kwai Chung dockworkers on the picket line.

MUA National Secretary and President of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), Paddy Crumlin, said Australian maritime workers have been deeply disturbed by the abuses of workers by Hong Kong International Terminals’ (HIT) subcontractors and wanted to express their support. The delegation also includes an ITF representative.

“Following my visit to Hong Kong last week in support of the Kwai Chung dockworkers, my union has sent representatives from around Australia to stand side-by-side with these workers on the picket line,” Mr Crumlin said.

“Transport and dockworkers around the world are shocked by the treatment of the Kwai Chung dockworkers under these contracting arrangements.

“Australian along with other international dockworkers and transport workers feel strongly enough not just to donate to the cause but to support these workers by standing arm-in-arm.

“HIT – which is a subsidiary of the global network terminal operator Hutchison – needs to make sure that workers are treated decently and paid fairly including in their subcontracting arrangements.

“To see hardly any increase in pay for more than a decade is just one part of the problem – the other part relates to the disgraceful treatment of these workers. It's employment more akin to slave labour.

“These abuses must stop and HIT in particular needs to show that they are committed to ending the exploitation of outsourced dockworkers in their subcontracting arrangements.

"Hutchison is a decent employer of dockworkers in Australia and in other countries around the world and they need to provide consistency by recognising that the treatment of these workers in Hong Kong is not acceptable.”

The Union of Hong Kong Dockers commenced strike action on 28 March as a result of inhumane treatment at work, including requiring some dockworkers to urinate out of windows, defecate and eat in their 6 foot-by-6 foot cabins so their work .would not be interrupted

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ETF members attend European Dockworkers’ Conference

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 13 Dec, 2012 14:49

ETF Spanish affiliates FSC-CCOO and TCM-UGT along with IDC’s Coordinadora have organised a European Dockworkers’ Conference that took place in Barcelona on 11 December 2012.

ETF members from Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Bulgaria, Poland and France have attended the conference, whose main aim was to demonstrate solidarity to the Spanish dockers in the framework of the infringement procedure opened by the European Commission against Spain on dockwork organisation and recruitment in Spanish ports.

A declaration was adopted by the unions attending the conference, confirming their solidarity to Spanish unions and stating the disagreement with the strategy that is being developed by the European Commission according to the latest declarations from Commissioner Kallas. The conference further resolved that ETF and IDC will coordinate in the near future a common strategy for an EU-wide industrial campaign to oppose current and future attempts to liberalise and deregulate dock labour in EU ports.

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Manifestatie in Lissabon

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 01 Dec, 2012 18:42

De delegatie bestond uit 4 miIitanten uit de Vlaamse havens. Ze werd geleid door Michel Claes, algemeen sektorverantwoodelijke de ACV transcom. Voorafgaand aan deze missie was er intensief overleg via internet. Via de pagina van Peter Van Wellen (longshoremen...) werden een aantal verantwoordelijken van een organiserende vakbond gecontracteerd.

Bij aankomst om de luchthaven werden we opgewacht door Sergio, een dokwerker. Terwijl we even van een koffie proefden, begroeten we de delegaties uit Spanje. Daarna reden we naar het hotel. Vlug inchecken en daarna richting vakbondlokaal in de Rua Azecrim. Het was een hartelijke ontmoeting. We deelden propagandamateriaal uit. En kregen lange vlaggenstokken. Deze zouden later heel belangrijk blijken. Geschenken werden gewisseld en een foto met de plaatselijke secretaris vereeuwigd.

De delegaties stroomden rond 11u toe en vandaar werd in stoet naar het vertrekpunt van de betoging getrokken. Met het nodige rumoer werd de sfeer erin gebracht. Naast de Belgen waren er ook havenarbeiders uit Frankrijk, Zweden, Finland, Spanje, Cyprus, Denemarken. De Pers lustte van deze beelden en rekende op bloed. Het werden echter bloemen. In de plaats van stenen te gooien werden bloemen uitgedeeld. Onder de communistische vuist werd door een oudere militante een kaars gebrand.

De stoet kwam op gang. ACV liep mee vooraan in de betoging, achter een onleesbare banner. Hij vertolkte de verontwaardiging. De pers liep in grote getale voor de stoet en hoopte nog steeds op bloed. Eduardo Chagas, baas van ETF, vertelde dat er nooit zoveel pers opdaagt voor een betoging in Lissabon. Na een uur bereikten 500 havenarbeiders het Parlement waar op dat ogenblik de volksvertegenwoordigers het wetsontwerp van de regering zou goedkeuren. Onder luid applaus bracht Michel Claes een Solidariteitsgroet aan alle aanwezige dockers.

De betoging werd ontbonden en honderden havenarbeiders verbroederden in de nabije straten. Afspraken werden gemaakt om in de toekomst nog beter elkaar te informeren. ACV nam afscheid van de collega's van de BTB en trok de nacht in.

Later vertelde Sergio ons dat het parlement de wetswijziging heeft goedgekeurd. Er volgt een tweede lezing en nieuwe stemming binnen 20 dagen.

Hoe moet het nu verder?
De verspreiding van het bestaan van PP3 schept heel wat verwarring. Er zijn dringend afspraken nodig over de inhoud van PP3 met daaraan gekoppeld de juiste handelswijze. Zien, oordelen en handelen. Dit moet de verwarring wegnemen. Daarom komen alle Europese vakbondsverantwoordelijken samen in Barcelona op 11 december.

We onthouden dat de haven van Sines niet solidair was. PSA zwaait hier de plak. Zij houden er de belangenorganisaties onder controle. PSA heeft er alle belang bij dat deze wet in Portugal passeert. Het wetsvoorstel houdt volgende belangrijke elementen in. Tally aan de gate verdwijnt, containervervoer met opleggers van onder de kraan naar de yard worden allemaal uitbesteed. Werk in magazijnen is niet langer havenarbeid.

In Portugal is zijn de havenarbeiders aan de blauwe steen toe.

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David Cockroft to retire as ITF general secretary

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 26 Oct, 2012 10:23
David Cockroft, who has been general secretary of the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) since 1993, announced today that he will retire at the end of May 2013 when he reaches the age of 60.

The announcement was made at the meeting of the ITF executive board in Copenhagen, Denmark, which also agreed to appoint Stephen Cotton, who is currently ITF maritime coordinator, as acting general secretary.

David Cockroft explained: “Next year I will have been the chief executive officer of this remarkable global union federation for 20 years. Although I was elected for a four year period at the 42nd ITF congress in Mexico City in 2010 I feel it is important to give my successor enough time to establish good relations with every part of this organisation prior to the 43rd congress in 2014.”

“I am very happy that the board has decided to appoint Stephen Cotton to this position. Stephen has taken the maritime activities of the ITF, including the ITF flag of convenience campaign and its younger brother the ports of convenience campaign, to new heights. There is not a shipping company or port employer anywhere that does not respect the strength of the ITF.

“Although my formal retirement will be at the end of May next year Stephen and I will work together from the end of this meeting to ensure a smooth leadership transition. Both prior to and following my retirement date, I will provide any advice, assistance and support that Stephen needs to take over what is one of the most difficult, demanding but also rewarding jobs in the global trade union movement.”

“As for my own future plans,” he concluded, “I remain committed to giving help to the development of strong, democratic, worker-led unions in every part of the world, but at a pace and to a timetable which enable me also to pay more attention to my family and friends.”

Steve Cotton commented: “To step into David’s shoes and to take on this new role is a huge responsibility and an extraordinary challenge. But it’s not my responsibility alone, it is one shared by everyone within the ITF community worldwide.”

He continued: “As transport unions we are beginning to change the face of trade union power and make a real impact on the global economy. We will defeat those who would attack trade union rights and weaken workers’ industrial muscle, we will have more, bigger, better unions in the ITF and we will deliver real gains to ordinary workers everywhere.
“Now and in the future we have a real opportunity to take forward an ITF that’s built on the solid foundations left by the outstanding predecessors I’ve been fortunate to have had – the most recent of whom is David Cockroft, who has helped turn this organisation into the global powerhouse that it is today.”

ITF president Paddy Crumlin added: "The unanimous decision of the executive board today reflects the mature leadership of David Cockroft and of the ITF. The personal, political and industrial qualities of the only candidate for acting general secretary, Steve Cotton, places the ITF well for the future."


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When I was in jail I knew the whole world was behind me

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 26 Oct, 2012 10:22
The ITF executive board meeting in Copenhagen this week welcomed Said Elhairech, the Moroccan dockers's union leader who was released from unjust imprisonment earlier this month following a high profile ITF campaign led by seafarer and docker activists. Said described his time in jail and the impact of the ‘Free Said’ campaign on him, his family and eventually on his release.

‘When I was in jail I knew the whole world was behind me. I thought, they cannot resist such a campaign.

As well as publicising my case and getting so much solidarity, you also helped when you made embassy contacts and rattled the government, in fact I was told they waited until after the Maritime RoundTable meeting in Casablanca to release me in the hope of avoiding embarrassment.

I was 107 days in jail - praying to God and talking to the ITF. And I got strength from following the ITF campaign on a daily basis. The ITF women’s delegation that visited my family inspired and strengthened them. Now I sitwith my family and I talk about ITF support. I have no words for it except “thank you”

I was in jail because I organised workers in multinational companies - including APMT, based here in Denmark. The government interfered with our industrial relations, getting involved in what should be a dialogue. I was accused of threatening national security because of the Tanger-Med port industrial action.

We are supposed to have the right to strike in Morocco, but in doesn’t work in practice – it’s like being given a nice apple that you’re punished if you eat. And other Moroccan TU leaders were afraid to support me. But you have set a very good example for whole region. When one of us is detained we all stand up! Thank you, this is the beginning of the struggle, I am stronger than before. This is not the end the road is long – and we rely on all of you.

And finally - I'm in Denmark so it’s good to say now that we do have a collective agreement with APMT. We still have some issues – but we are working on them!’


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Freedom for Said

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 02 Oct, 2012 18:45

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International Solidarity Works!

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 02 Oct, 2012 18:34

Said Elhairech freed: ITF comment

The ITF is pleased to report that all the serious charges against imprisoned Moroccan trade unionist Said Elhairech have been dismissed and he is now free with his innocence proven. Only one minor charge against him remains on thebooks. He is now at home with his family.

ITF general secretary David Cockroft commented: “Said's first call, as soon as he was free, was to the ITF Arab World regional secretary, Bilal Malkawi, to thank the ITF for our Free Said campaign. Coming immediately following the presence in Casablanca of our inspectors and maritime union activists, this shows the power of the ITF. As I said last Thursday at the closing session of our Maritime Roundtable there, while jailing union leaders for doing their job in Morocco is not uncommon, this time they picked two people who had the ITF behind them. It now remains for the court to speedily release Said’s colleague Mohamed Chamchati, with his reputation also intact."

He continued: “For over 100 days Said has languished in jail and trade unionists around the world have fought for his release. This is undoubtedly the rightdecision, if overdue, and it proves what we said all along, that the charges were ridiculous - and we have broadcast that fact to the world.”

ITF president Paddy Crumlin stated: “Dockworkers, seafarers and other transport workers around the world and their unions will welcome Said’s release. Unfortunately, like Mohamed, he was jailed for nothing more than meeting the obligatory international obligations in protecting labour rights, obligations applying equally to including employers and governments. The Moroccan government now has a clear opportunity to show regional leadership by ensuring those obligations are protected in national law in a way acceptable to every country accepting its civil, human and labour rights aspirations and responsibilities.”

He continued: “This is a great day for Said, for Morocco and for trade unionism. This decision is a testament to his effectiveness as a trade unionist and the effectiveness of all the unions that have struggled so hard, and now so successfully, to clear his name. The release of Mohamed must now also follow.”

Said Elhairech, general secretary of the Moroccan Ports Union, part of the ITF-affiliated UMT, and chair of the ITF Arab World regional committee, was arrested on 16 June on charges of ‘sabotage and endangering national security’. He consistently rejected the accusations and has been backed throughout by the ITF, which has believed all along that he was wrongly charged following his very effective work on behalf of ships’ crews stranded by the cessation of operations of the Comarit-Comanav ferry company, which he undertook at the ITF’s request. Both he and Mohamed Chamchati have proclaimed their innocence throughout. The ITF has mobilised its resources worldwide in support of Said and Mohamed and their fight for justice.

For more details please see


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Free Said

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 02 Oct, 2012 18:31

Tijdens de Maritime Roundtable te Casablanca waren er acties gepland ter ondersteuning van de ITF campagne FREE SAID. ACV Transcom overhandigde een gesigneerde vlag ter ondersteuning. Op 1 oktober 2012, de week na de Martime Roundtable, werd Said vrijgelaten.

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Fighting for better seas

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 26 Sep, 2012 09:03

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Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 23 Sep, 2012 23:15
zie website voor meer info.

Vorige week vond er in Casablanca, waar de ITF Maritime Roundtable (MRT) overmorgen van start gaat, het World Wide Inspector Seminar plaats. Tijdens dit gebeuren werd er door ITF een persconferentie georganiseerd voor de internationale pers. ITF hoopt dat tegen het einde van de MRT Said als een vrij man zal kunnen worden verwelkomd op de MRT.

Even werd er getwijfeld om beide evenementen wegens de opsluiting van Said niet in Casablanca te laten doorgaan. Maar op uitdrukkelijk verzoek van de sinds juni 2012 gevangen genomen Said gaan beide evenementen wel door.

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Maritime Roundtable

Internationaal VakbondswerkPosted by webmaster 27 Aug, 2012 22:10

Interesse om virtueel deel te nemen aan dit belangerijk evenement? Klik hier voor meer info.

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