ITF Condemns 'utterly unbelievable' Moroccan Court Decisions
The ITF has condemned as ‘utterly unbelievable’ a totally unexpected decision by a court in Morocco to jail trade union leaders Said Elhairech and Mohamed Chamchati. Elhairech the general secretary of the Moroccan Ports Union, part of the ITF-affiliated UMT, and chair of the ITF Arab World regional committee, was arrested in June 2012 on charges of ‘sabotage and endangering national security’. He utterly rejected the accusations and was supported throughout by the ITF, which was unequivocal in its stance that he had been wrongly targeted following his very effective work on behalf of crews stranded by the cessation of operations of the Comarit-Comanav ferry company – which he undertook at the ITF’s request. In October all charges except one minor one were dropped and his innocence proven.
ITFShow Support for Striking Hong Kong Dockers
The ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) spoke out against a temporary injunction that throws out striking dockers from Kwai Tsing Container Terminals, Port of Hong Kong. On January 30, the ITF Hong Kong Dockers Coordinating Committee comprised of Hong Kong Storehouses, Transportation and Logistics Staff Association (HKSTLSA), the Union of Hong Kong Dockers (UHKD) and the Hong Kong Docks and Ports Industry Unions (HKDPIU) called for dialogue with Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT) and its subcontractors over decent working conditions for all workers regardless of their employment status. In response to a lack of dialogue from the company and its disregard for the union's call for pay parity…
Spanish Dock Strike Could Disrupt Key Export Chains
Key export chains in Spain could face major disruption if a long-running dispute between the government and the country's dock workers extends beyond a planned three-day strike next week, industry sources warned on Thursday. The standstill will take place every other hour on Feb. 20, 22 and 24 at dozens of Spanish ports which employ more than 6,000 stevedores and handle an estimated 500 million tonnes of merchandise a year. "The strike action could cause a lot of problems, not only for the ports but also for the companies," said an administrative source at the busy Mediterranean port of Valencia, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Spain's export sector is worth more than 330 billion euros ($352 billion) a year, or about a third of economic output.
Maritime Fatalities on the Rise in Australia
An Australian Transport Safety Bureau report shows a sharp increase in deaths & serious incidents in maritime & offshore sectors. The report, according to the ITF, found that between 2005 and 2012, 254 people were killed, missing or seriously injured in reported marine occurrences. In 2012, 154 such occurrences were reported – over 50 per cent higher than the 2005 to 2012 average of 100 per year. The Maritime Union of Australia said the report highlighted the urgent need for the federal government and its agencies to act to reduce the death and serious injury rates. The figures were: "not only shocking, they are a tragedy for the many families and communities who have lost loved ones,” said MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin, also president of the ITF.
Australian Senate Rejects Offshore Foreign Worker Visa Plan
All maritime unions – the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), The Australian Maritime Officers Union (AMOU) and Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers (AIMPE) – opposed the Abbott Government’s attempts to flood the offshore oil and gas sector with cheap foreign labour, says the Maritime Union of Australia. They consider that the Australian Parliament has made the right decision in disallowing this proposal. The Senate voted to disallow the Federal Government from continuing…
ITF Port Unions Resolve to Campaign Against DP World
ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) dockers’ union representatives meeting in Chicago, USA, resolve 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.
ITF Welcomes MLC 2006
As the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 (MLC) comes into the force the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has promised to dedicate all its resources to helping it make real changes to the lives of all seafarers. The ITF has worked alongside shipping organizations, the ILO and governments for over a decade to jointly create and shape the MLC, and is committed to monitoring and assisting its implementation and persuading many more countries to ratify it. ITF president Paddy Crumlin stated…
Heavyweights ITF Back Action on Container Weighing
The ITF is calling on governments and industry bodies to back a proposed amendment that will tackle the dangers posed by unweighed or mis-declared shipping containers. The amendment – to the existing Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) – will be tabled at the present meeting of the IMO (International Maritime Organization) sub–committee on dangerous goods, solid cargoes and containers.The meeting will decide if the weighing of packed shipping containers will be made mandatory. The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has been lobbying for nearly a decade for a compulsory international system of container weighing to be introduced in ports. Currently there is a reliance on self regulation by shippers.
ITF Lauds Ports of Auckland Undertaking
ITF President Paddy Crumlin lauded Ports of Auckland’s undertaking to halt plans to make nearly 300 dock workers redundant, cease outsourcing operations, and re-enter negotiations with the Maritime Union of New Zealand. “This really is a victory for common sense, and a ringing endorsement of MUNZs decision to resist the port company’s plans and challenge them in law,” said Crumlin. “The workers and their union have been sincere all along in seeking a negotiated settlement. If the company can genuinely match that willingness – and prove that they are committed to a negotiated solution – then an end to this dispute and the damage it has done to the port’s reputation could be within reach.”
7th July, Dockers to Take Action Globally
The International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC), International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) are calling on dockers’ unions around the world to organise an hour of activities on International dockers’ action day next Thursday, 7 July. The aim of the day is to raise awareness with the public about the vital contribution dockworkers make to the world economy, the risks they face at work every day and to highlight the growing attacks on working conditions in ports. A tribute to fallen and injured comrades will be included.
Disabled Bulker Arrives Safely in Cairns
The ID Integrity lost propulsion power last Friday, about 65 nautical miles east of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park boundary and drifted towards Shark Reef until reached by tug boats on Monday morning and taken in tow to Cairns, reports Ninemsn. "No pollution or injuries to the crew were sustained during the incident, and there was no damage to either Shark Reef or the Great Barrier Reef," the company said in a statement. The company said it would investigate the breakdown. The incident sparked new calls for tougher regulation of ships in the Great Barrier Reef area. Maritime Union of Australia National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said increased sea traffic put the reef in danger."Accidents like the Shen Neng ...
ITF President Welcomes Australian shipping reform
ITF president and Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin today welcomed the passing of bills that secure the future of Australian shipping. The Australian government's landmark Shipping Reform Package bills today passed the Australian Parliament's House of Representatives with a narrow vote of 71 - 69. All of the speakers in favor made mention of the hard work of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) - its national secretary Paddy Crumlin and all the members involved. The bills represent over 10 years of work by the MUA, especially Mr Crumlin, and follows the endorsed support from members at the recent Seafarers’ Conference and National MUA Conference.
Port Worker Crushed to Death in Jakarta
According to an announcement from the International Transport Workers’ Federation, an Indonesian worker who was killed on the job at the International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) facility in Jakarta overnight. According to the ITWF report, Local unions say the 40-year-old man was fatally crushed at 22.10 local time when a refrigerated container was dropped onto his truck, crushing the cabin and killing the driver, the second workplace fatality at the Port of Jakarta in three weeks.
Labor Union Summit Focuses on Automation Issue
The ILWU and ILA recently met in Washington, D.C.: first item on agenda was report on progress of East Coast USA contract negotiations. The meeting was attended also by ITF President and Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) National Secretary Paddy Crumlin and ITF Maritime Coordinator Steve Cotton. The first item of business was a report from ILA President Harold Daggett on the progress of the New East Coast contract, particularly on the outcome of negotiations on the introduction of automation to the terminals covered under the contract. The ILA President reported that job security for displaced ILA members, including retraining into new maintenance jobs, was central to any agreed outcome.
Dockers Fire Warning Shot Across Europe's Bows
Dockers meeting at the ITF Maritime Roundtable in Casablanca issue 'Port Package Three' warning. Leaders of dockers’ unions affiliated to the ETF (European Transport’ Workers’ Federation and the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) met at the ITF Maritime Roundtable in Casablanca to explore the future of dock work in Europe. Their meeting followed an action and information day on 25th September 2012 that was intended to send a strong signal to the European Commission (EC) on the day it held a European ports policy review conference in Brussels. On the same day, members of the Oficiaismar union in Portugal took part in a second national strike in protest at government proposals to relax employment regulations in the ports there.
ITF Wins Promise for Investigation into Death Threats
The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has won a promise from the Honduran ambassador to the U.K. to investigate death threats and victimization of trade unionists in the city of Puerto Cortés. A high-level delegation made up of Steve Cotton, ITF acting general secretary; Paddy Crumlin, ITF president; Victor Crespo, president of the ITF-affiliated Sindicato Gremial de Trabajadores del Muelle (SGTM); and Tomas Abrahamsson, ITF maritime coordinator, won the assurance in a meeting with Ambassador Romero-Martinez yesterday.
ITF GenSec David Cockroft to Retire
David Cockroft general secretary of the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) since 1993 reaches retirement age. 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. “I am very happy that the board has decided to appoint Stephen Cotton to this position. ITF president Paddy Crumlin added: "The unanimous decision of the executive board today reflects the mature leadership of David Cockroft and of the ITF.
ITF President Weighs in on Multimillion Dollar Fisheries Dispute
International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) president Paddy Crumlin has met with key stakeholders in Auckland, New Zealand, about the ongoing campaign to secure NZD30 million in unpaid wages for fishers in the region. The ITF has contributed to Slave Free Seas’ campaign to claim outstanding wages in the vicinity of NZD30 million through the New Zealand courts. Crumlin met with senior union representatives from Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, the Slave Free Seas advocacy group and the Merchant Service Guild as part of the Regional Maritime Federation meeting.
Union Hits Out at Vulture Fund Swoop on Tall Ship
TF president Paddy Crumlin condemns those responsible for seizure of 'Fragata Libertad', an Argentine navy training ship, in Ghana. The detention of the ship was ordered on application to a court by Elliott Capital Management, which has bought up debt associated with bonds on which the Argentinian government defaulted in 2001. He continued: “In trying to hold hostage one government over a dispute on sovereign debt by holding the Libertad hostage, Singer shows that he only holds one thing sacred: making more profit and building his wealth.
ITF Repeats Call for Rotterdam Dialogue as Dockers Protest
The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) called for all-party talks on the future of the port of Rotterdam, as dockers refused to unload a ship loaded at the new Rotterdam Gateway (RWG) terminal. RWG, unlike other companies at the port, refuses to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with port workers, who are represented by the FNV Havens union. On Sunday the vessel Alsvin loaded containers at RWG, in what was believed to be a test operation. It then moved to the ECT terminal in Rotterdam to discharge them. Dockers refused to unload them.
ITF Applauds Release of Moroccan Seafarers' Union Leader
Mohamed Chamchati, general secretary of the Moroccan merchant seafarers’ union, has been released after June 2012 detention. Like his colleague Said Elhairech, who was freed in October, Chamchati had been arrested in June on clearly mistaken charges linked to the cessation of operations of the Comarit-Comanav company. Yesterday he and others were released without charge. Welcoming the release ITF general secretary David Cockroft stated: “We are gratified to see that the judicial authorities have finally come to their senses and realised that planning trade union action in defence of members’ jobs is no threat to the security of Morocco.
Strike Shutdowns Ports of Long Beach, & LA Terminals
Longshore clerks at the ports in a staffing issue dispute gain support from other workers. The strike is the largest shutdown at the combined ports since 2002. According to local reports, seven of the eight terminals at the Port of Los Angeles were shut down by the action, along with three of the six terminals at Long Beach. Dockers’ and seafarers’ union leaders meeting in Cyprus announce their support for members of the Office Clerical Unit of Local 63 of the ITF-affiliated ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union). ITF President Paddy Crumlin said: “The world leadership of the dockers’ and seafarers’ unions of the ITF resolve to give full support and solidarity to the ILWU members affected.“
Moroccan Seafarers' Union Leader Freed
ITF applaud release of Mohamed Chamchati, general secretary of the Moroccan merchant seafarers’ union. Like his colleague Said Elhairech, who was freed in October, Chamchati had been arrested in June on clearly mistaken charges linked to the cessation of operations of the Comarit-Comanav company. Welcoming the release ITF general secretary David Cockroft stated: “We are gratified to see that the judicial authorities have finally come to their senses and realised that planning trade union action in defence of members’ jobs is no threat to the security of Morocco. We were very pleased that Said Elhairech was released just after our maritime meetings in Casablanca and was able to join our executive in Copenhagen…