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IDC and ITF meet to defend dockers’ rights

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The ITF HQ's in London

The ITF HQ’s in London

Representatives of the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) met in Barcelona, Spain, today to explore how to work together to defend dockers’ jobs and rights.

05/02/2016 – The one-day meeting agreed the following statement of intent:

Representatives of the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) meeting in Barcelona today 5th February 2016 have agreed to find ways of working more closely together with the aim of strengthening solidarity between dockworkers’ globally and supporting each other in fighting back against attacks on their working terms and conditions, and job security.

These common challenges faced by our members are the result of significant changes in maritime transport, and some employers and governments pursuing a neo-liberal agenda characterised by union busting including through automation, the casualisation of jobs and deregulation of labour standards and protections.  Collective agreements are increasingly being violated and we are concerned over health and safety conditions in ports, as well as attempts to limit dockworkers’ ability to exercise their trade union rights.

We have established a joint committee to develop a strategy and plan actions urgently to tackle the key challenges and issues faced by dockworkers globally.

In particular, our organisations will cooperate on:

Campaigning and solidarity support to secure and maintain dockworkers’ rights internationally, especially in the global terminal operating companies (GNTs); and

Managing the impact of automation, securing lashing work and respect for dockworkers’ jurisdiction.

We anticipate an active and fruitful collaboration between our two organisations to build dockworkers’ power around the world.

Paddy Crumlin, ITF president and chair of its dockers’ section, commented: “This has been a landmark event. Both organisations are now best placed to do promote the rights and roles of this vital workforce.”

Jordi Aragunde, IDC general coordinator, added: “Today’s meeting was designed to further our joint efforts to aid and represent dockers worldwide. It is a pleasure to see it result in such concrete outcomes.”

Torben Seebold, ITF vice chair and ETF (European Transport Workers’ Federation) dockers’ section vice chair, added: “Dockers do hard and often dangerous work which is rarely given the recognition it deserves. The ITF and IDC are committed to changing that.”

IDC European zone coordinator Anthony Tetard concluded: “Dockers face common challenges, which demand a united response. Today we have agreed one.”

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