European dockers’ unions in solidarity over Rotterdam dispute

21 Oct 2013

European dockers’ unions have pledged their support for workers in the Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands, who face an ongoing dispute with management over negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

During a meeting in Antwerp last week, unions affiliated to the European arm of the ITF, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), along with members of the International Dockworkers Council (IDC), were informed about the FNV Bondgenoten dispute with global network terminal operator (GNT) APM terminals, over CBA terms and conditions at the APMTR Maasvlakte II terminal.

It is understood that Maersk Line is diverting all ships with destination APMTR Rotterdam to the port of Antwerp or other European ports.

In a statement, the European dockworkers’ unions said:

“(We) declare to be ready to take all lawful actions in European ports to support the struggle that the Dutch Dockworkers union FNV Bondgenoten is carrying out in the Netherlands to negotiate a fair agreement for their members.”

ITF president and chair of the dockers’ section Paddy Crumlin said: “European dock workers are standing up in solidarity for their brothers and sisters in Rotterdam. We understand a meeting between FNV and management is scheduled for next week. We welcome that, but if it doesn’t end in a decent solution then unions will be meeting again to see where we go from there.”