ETF/ITF affiliates representing workers in the tug and towage sector met in London end September 2015

Related to: Maritime Transport, Conference, Declaration, ITF, Tug
7 Oct 2015

Representatives of 20 member organisations from 11 countries discussed the impact of global maritime business model shifts.The sector faces many challenges especially in the area of consolidation. Affiliates adopted following declarations:

 

ITF/ETF Tug Conference declaration

ETF/ITF affiliates representing workers in tug and towage operations met in London on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th September 2015.  Representatives of 20 member organisations from 11 countries discussed the impact of global maritime business model shifts.

From the exchanges during the conference, it was concluded that global players are consolidating in order to increase profits by imposing unfair tariffs and demands on local tug operators to do likewise.

Therefore the unions present at the conference:

  • PLEDGE solidarity to one another and commit that in case of any industrial dispute, action or strike, none of their membership will break the action/strike by relocating their tugs to the port or hub concerned.
  • DEMAND that tariffs be fully transparent and discounts be published before they come into force.
  • RECOGNISE the results achieved by the ETF in improving the text of the draft Port Service Regulation.  The unions in the tug sector renew their continued support to the ETF to make sure that those improvements will be kept on-board by the legislators. They further reiterate their strong concerns over a possible future generalisation of the flags of convenience in the tug sector that could be triggered by EU market access rules.
  • DEMAND that tariffs and discounts allocated to tug clients are calculated and established in such a way that they duly reflect and take into account the full labour cost.  Working below cost should be declared unlawful.
  • DEMAND that a tariffs and discounts calculation tool is developed and made publicly available so that all concerned can see the effects on employment and the service rendered.
  • DEMAND that the European Commission to start an investigation to examine the systems and various business models put in place by large tug operators in order to apply for State Aid and by doing so undercut fair competition.
  • CALL UPON the ITF to permanently update the research on international tug operations and put up an information provision tool open to affiliates.

London, 24th September 2015

The participating unions:

MUA, Australia
ACV Transcom, Belgium
BTB, Belgium
3F, Denmark
CGT Equipage, France
FGTE-CFDT, France
FOMM UGICT CGT, France
Ver.di, Germany
FIT CISL, Italy
UIL, Italy
UCOC, Panama
UIM, Panama
FSC-CC.OO, Spain
SMC-UGT, Spain
Nautilus International, Switzerland
FNV Havens, Netherlands
Nautilus International, Netherlands
Nautilus International, United Kingdom
Unite, United Kingdom

 

Solidarity Declaration with Tug Workers on the Panama Canal

The ITF/ETF Tug Conference meeting in London on 23rd and 24th September 2015 has learnt with great concern of the planned unilateral introduction of unproven working practices and the general poor maintenance condition of the tugs in the expanded Panama Canal and its locks.

Changes in a potentially dangerous working environment under new conditions,  i.e. significantly larger vessels operating in new locks should only be realised in close co-operation with the workers concerned and their representatives.

The representatives present at the conference:

  • Welcome the initiative of the ITF to commission a simulator project to assess the operations of the new locks;
  • Stress the fact that the Panama Canal Authorities have to comply with all relevant and applicable international conventions;
  • Urge the Panama government to take up its responsibility to make sure that the appropriate international standards and conventions are respected and upheld;
  • Deplore the lack of willingness of the Panama Canal Authority to engage in meaningful consultation with the tug crews and their unions;
  • Express their concern that an introduction of untried practices in the new environment could pose not only a danger to the health and safety of the crews but also to the safety of the vital traffic through the canal;
  • Call on the Panama Canal Authority to postpone the introduction of new working practices until the ITF study can present its conclusions and then only subject to an agreement with the crews and their unions;
  • Express their  solidarity with the crews and their unions and salutes their determination in defending their safety and dignity.

London, 24th September 2015
Nick Bramley
Chair, ITF Inland Navigation Section

For the participating unions:

MUA, Australia
ACV Transcom, Belgium
BTB, Belgium
3F, Denmark
CGT Equipage, France
FGTE-CFDT, France
FOMM UGICT CGT, France
Ver.di, Germany
FIT CISL, Italy
UIL, Italy
UCOC, Panama
UIM, Panama
FSC-CC.OO, Spain
SMC-UGT, Spain
Nautilus International, Switzerland
FNV Havens, Netherlands
Nautilus International, Netherlands
Nautilus International, United Kingdom
Unite, United Kingdom

 

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