Lashing is the operation which secures cargo (containers, vehicles, general cargo, etc.) on board a ship. This is a hard and hazardous task, but a vital one to ensure that cargo, ships and seafarers reach their destination safely. That is why seafarers’ collective bargaining agreements signed by the ITF and its affiliate unions contain a clause stating that lashing can only be done by qualified dockers, unless otherwise agreed by the local dockers’ unions.
In a globalised world, the port sector plays a vital role in the logistics chain: 74% of goods that enter or leave Europe go by sea. In coastal regions ports are often a major direct employer, and they also indirectly support many more jobs. The EU has up to 250 000 dockers, and up to 3 million people working in related sectors Thus ports offer prosperity and wellbeing for entire communities.
The ETF Dockers Section represents dockers, white collar employees in terminals and port authorities, maintenance workers, and other categories of workers in port operations and port logistics.
We have three overarching priorities:
• Shaping the future of port work in an era of automation and digitalisation, where huge changes are sweeping the shipping landscape;
• Making the policies and legislation that govern ports and shipping fairer to port workers;
• Boosting our members’ capacity to contribute effectively, so that our movement is ever stronger.
Ports have been evolving constantly over the last decades, and so has port work. The ETF Dockers’ Section acts at various levels, always trying to steer these changes in a way that is positive for port workers and their communities.
As the voice of port workers in Brussels, we represent the interest of our members within the EU policy-making processes. We ensure that port workers’ priorities and interests are taken into account in all EU policies and legislative initiatives which will have an impact on them.
We coordinate international campaigns and actions, and offer international solidarity and support in disputes involving our affiliate unions. We promote research and provide training to our members to build capacity at our affiliate unions.
We are involved in an EU-level social dialogue committee on ports, together with the other social partners’ organisations that represent workers and employers.
The ETF Dockers Section plans and implements all of its policies and actions in full coordination with the Dockers Section of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), our global sister organisation.
News November 18, 2020
In light of Digital Transport Days taking place on 18 November, ETF Maritime team has published a paper on the future of waterborne transport. ETF’s vision of a fair and sustainable future of waterborne transport shows that there is an alternative to the current business practices in the sectors.
News October 9, 2020
We check in with Estelle Brentnall to catch up about her work: the expectations, the reality, and the upcoming priorities for the maritime team.
Event September 24, 2020
ETF is launching its first round of ETF Talks – Conversations that put social first! First topic? Trade unions build back BETTER!