German maritime workers rallied in Hamburg to ask for fairer maritime jobs

3 Apr 2017

Today, 3 April 2017 more than 1,000 German maritime workers rallied in Hamburg to ask for fairer maritime jobs. 
The demonstration was called for by ETF/ITF affiliated union ver.di along with the Metalworkers’ union IGM, on the eve of the National Maritime Conference, a yearly event organised by the German Federal Government to discuss the state of the maritime economy with all major stakeholders. 
We are here to claim a future for our jobs” said Torben Seebold, ETF Dockers’ vice-chair and ver.di’s Maritime leader. 
Maritime employment is threatened by the economic crisis, by increasing automation, by unbalanced subsidies policies. We have concrete proposals for making the sector fairer to workers. In the next two days we will make sure that our voice is heard! 
We are proud of having today the ETF, ITF and the unions from the North Range to back us. We need common answers to the common challenges we are facing. 
“You, German Dockers are the backbone of our movement”  ETF Dockers’ Chair Terje Samuelsen stated during the demonstration. 
“You have a robust vision for the future of the port sector and of port employment, which is inspiring for all port workers in Europe.” 
During his speech Samuelsen also applauded the recent agreement between ver.di and EVAG/ELAG and on the fact that all cars passing through the port of Emden are lashed and unlashed by Dockers.  “This last win a clear signal of what dockers backed by strong unions can achieve!”, he concluded. 
BTB-ABVV’s Marc Loridan and FNV Havens’ Niek Stam also addressed the demonstration, stating their unions’ full support to ver.di’s claim. 
Attacks to our jobs are taking so many different forms and we are using all possible means to fight back, industrially and politically,” declared Loridan. 
“National and regional governments in the North range need to open their eyes on the consequences of automation and overcapacity on the economies of our coastal regions,” stated Stam. 
The problems we are facing go beyond the national borders and the specific interest of each port. That is why we, Dockwokers, are acting in unity. Stop the war on workers!” he concluded.