Global solidarity for port strikes in Italy

22 May 2019

Dockers everywhere deserve safe conditions, decent wages and a voice in automation! That’s exactly what Italian unions were bargaining for, but now national negotiations have broken down.

Despite the ever growing volume of goods handled in Italy’s ports, worsening safety and working conditions in the Italian terminals are a cause for alarm. Employers are taking advantage of the increasing vertical integration of the shipping companies, to exert constant downward pressure on the wages and labour standards of the Italian dockers.

Our Italian affiliates FILT-CGIL, FIT-CISL and UILTRASPORTI have therefore decided to call a 24-hour national strike in ports on 23 May 2019. The strike is a direct response to the breakdown of negotiations on a national collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for ports, notably due to a lack of agreement on pay levels and automation clauses. Our members are also protesting against the frequent attempts by some shipping companies to breach safety-critical regulations on self-handling in Italian ports. As the Italian government and the Port Authorities have so far refused to react appropriately to the ongoing problems, unions and their members have been left with no option but to strike.

The ETF and ITF support the legitimate demands of FILT-CGIL, FIT-CISL and UILTRASPORTI for the renewal of the CBA. We also back their call for the Italian government to guarantee uniform application of existing rules by the port authorities.