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ITF comment on Aqaba port conflict

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Commenting on the situation in the Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT), Sharon James, ITF dockers’ section secretary, said: “There is one clear issue for the dockworkers at Aqaba, and that relates to the change of shift patterns.

A new system was implemented by management before workers had the time to legally review the court decision and its implications; this is at the heart of the matter. The ITF and theGeneral Union of Port Workers are committed to achieving a resolution of the dispute and we have made that commitment to dialogue clear to ACT management.”

She continued: “Dialogue is the key. With it the conflict could have been avoided, without it the situation has deteriorated to this point. For the dockers the unnegotiated imposition of the new shift pattern is the biggest problem. That problem can, we believe, be solved by negotiation.”

She added: “We decry the violence that was unleashed by the gendarmerie and condemn the continued detention of three leaders of the union, apparently on the governor’s orders. The attempt by the governor to get them to sign an agreement to work the new shifts as a condition of their release is contemptible, and we applaud their rejection of this ploy.”

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