15 November 2013 – The ITF is categorically restating its position that cargo handling is dockers’ work, and its unflinching support for the dockers of Risavika, who are battling the reported refusal of management to sign up to the national Norwegian agreement covering dockworkers.
For full details see http://www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/9735/region/1/section/0/order/1 and the ITF’s unequivocal statement of 1 November 2013 that: All ITF agreements contain the dockers’ clause which stipulates that on vessels covered, neither the ship’s crew nor anyone else on board shall carry out cargo handling work traditionally or historically done by dockworkers. Cargo handling must be done by professional dockworkers who have the relevant skills and training to be efficient and safe in this role.
The ITF is ensuring that there can be no doubt about its position on the issue after hearing from Terje Samuelsen of the Norwegian Transport Workers’ Union (NTF) and chair of the ETF (European Transport Workers’ Federation) dockers’ committee. Samuelsen reported that the CEO of Risavika terminal, Kurt Ommundsen, has informed him that the disputed practices were allowed under ITF agreements. The ITF is surprised and concerned by this suggestion and wants to make clear that this is not so. The cargo handling clause in ITF agreements prohibits the use of seafarers for dockers’ work.
The ITF further points out that Norway has ratified ILO Convention 137, the Dock Work Convention, which requires registers to be established and maintained for all occupational categories of dockworkers, in a manner to be determined by national law or practice and that registered dockworkers shall have priority of engagement for dock work.