Port workers, wharfies and longshoremen are staging activities for the dockers’ global day of action happening Thursday 7 July between 8:00- 9:00 am (local time).
Dockers in ports on six continents will be part of the union action day, including the thousands of dockers belonging to the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).
Under the slogan ‘Defend Dockers Rights’ dockers are acting to highlight issues of vital importance to port workers including: health and safety, precarious work, right to negotiation and collective agreements, uniform labor standards and automation.
Dockers in the following countries have confirmed they will be involved in activities: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Togo, Turkey, USA, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Follow the latest action in your country via social media channels:
Twitter: @IDCdockers @ITFglobalunion @ETFdockers
See advance note to press released 1 July for quotes.
More on the issues faced by dockworkers:
Health and safety: ports are dangerous work places and with intense pressures to meet targets, many employers urge workers to work faster and longer, which could potentially increase the risk of accidents and injuries. Ensuring high standards of health and safety is crucial.
Precarious work: in many workplaces dockers find that their jobs are not secure, they have precarious contracts, where they are not directly employed meaning they forfeit the protections of a secure set of terms and working conditions.
Union rights: in some instances workers are dealing with employers that are hostile towards unions and are not willing to respect bargaining rights or collective agreements.
There have even been cases where union leaders have been dismissed, union members have been intimidated and unions have received threats from employers, in an effort to union bust.
Automation: dockers’ unions are against automation without negotiation with the union. Automation should not be used as a union busting tool and the impact on the lives of workers and their job security must be taken into account in proposals for full or partial automation of port facilities prior to implementation.
More on the organisors of the action day:
The International Dockworkers Council
The International Dockworkers Council (IDC) is a global trade union confederation formally founded in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2000. It currently brings together more than 85,000 dockworkers on five continents, and works to defend workers and their jobs through training and continuous improvement of their working conditions.
Headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, the IDC is organized into six areas (Europe, Africa, Western North America and Pacific Coast, East Coast of North America, Oceania and Latin America), each with a coordinator appointed by assembly.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation
The International Transport Workers ‘Federation (ITF) is an international federation of transport workers’ unions. Any independent trade union with members in the transport industry can be a member of the ITF.
About 700 unions representing over 4.5 million transport workers in 150 countries are members of the ITF. It is one of several federations that make up the International Trade Union Confederation (CSI).
ITF headquarters is in London and has offices in Amman, Brussels, Nairobi, New Delhi, Ouagadougou, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.
The European Transport Workers’ Federation
The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) is a Pan-European trade union organization that embraces transport trade unions of the European Union, the European Economic Area and the countries of Eastern Europe.
The ETF represents more than 3.5 million transport workers from over 230 trade unions and 41 European countries in the following sectors: railway, road transport and logistics, shipping, inland waterways, civil aviation, ports and docks, tourism and fishing.