Members of FNV Havens – a Dutch ETF affiliate – from the container and lashing sectors gathered to demand that employers and institutions take urgent action to make sure that port jobs are quality jobs.
In preparation of the European action week for our Fair Transport campaign that will take place in March, FNV Havens has identified some urgent priorities on which they urge dialogue with companies, policy makers and the port authority.
The Dockers’ Clause in IBF agreements will enter into force by 1 January 2020 and all parties involved need to be ready. Together with the ETF, the ITF and their unions, FNV Havens is working to establish a meaningful dialogue with shipowners, ship managers, port authorities, and port operators to make sure that all is ready for the enforcement of the clause. In June 2019, ITF in the Netherlands and FNV Havens will organise an action week to raise awareness about the implementation of the Dockers clause. Ships will then be inspected to assess whether recognised lashers can work safely as from 1 January 2020. If ships are unsafe, for both dockers and seafarers, port workers will not work on the ship!
The Port of Rotterdam Authority must play the role of enforcing body for port regulations. It is common practice that ships sails with unlashed and unsecured cargo in the port. This has to stop as it is a treat to safety, security as well as to the environment. There are companies in the port of Rotterdam that refuse ITF inspectors to access their terminals. As a result, ITF inspectors are prevented from checking that collective barganing agreements are complied with on board ships
Equipment manufacturers and terminal operators want us to believe that more automation leads to more security. However, our members report that dangerous situations regularly occur at automated terminals. The high speed of the new cranes, combined with remote controlled operations and the small distance between the lashers on the lashing platforms and the shaving containers constantly create unsafe situations. This also applies to the stackers on the stacking platform and for dockers working onboard the ship. There are also safety risks when the ship being worked on moves, which often happens because of the great suction power of passing ships. Things have to change if Rotterdam wants to really be a top quality port!
Together with the ETF, FNV Havens is carrying out the Fair Transport Europe campaign to ask for fair working conditions for EU transport workers. Employees in the transport sector are working 24/7 and 365 days a year to make European economy move, but often they are not treated in a fair way! Poor working conditions, dangerous situations and forms of exploitation of mobile workers are well known examples of this. But also the absence of retirement at a fair age because of a generalised increase of the retirement age in Europe. Shift workers have on average a shorter life expectancy and therefore have to be able to retire earlier. Therefore our fight for fair transport is also a fight for fair state pensions!