ITF and ETF affiliates are being asked to show their support for Norwegian dockers who will hold a rally this weekend as strikes continue in ports across the country.
A call has gone out to unions to attend, or send letters to the Norwegian Transport Workers’ Union (NTF), to demonstrate their solidarity with workers who are fighting to maintain the protected status of dockers’ work. The rally will be held on Saturday 5 April in YoungsTorget Square, Oslo with hundreds of people expected to attend.
Under International Labour Organization (ILO) convention 137, and the ITF dockers’ clause, no worker other than a trained, professional docker can carry out loading and unloading work. In contravention of this, some employers in Norway have declared intentions to make use of seafarers to carry out cargo handling duties.
Chair of the ETF dockers’ section Terje Samuelsen said: “The only demand of the NTF is that the employer stick to the conditions of the national agreement. Basically, our only requirement is that dockers should have the preferential right to unload and load work and seafarers should not handle cargo. Employers have decided to take away this right from the dockers.
“This is an attack on our rights. In other words, this is the introduction of Ports package 3! Losing this dispute would mean giving up the national agreement, the rights of dockers to handle cargo in accordance with ILO 137, to which Norway is a signatory, and ripping up the ITF dockers’ clause.”
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