At its first meeting the ETF Tug Steering Committee, with representatives from France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, adopted a solidarity message with the workers on the Panama Canal.
It discussed the situation facing our colleagues in the Union de Capitanes y Oficiales de Cubierta (UCOC), as they continue to defend the principles of safe working practices guaranteed by safe manning levels and whilst the integrity of your union is under increasing pressure from the authorities. Further lowering the manning levels on board of the Panama tugs is seriously dangerous.
We fully support the declarations of support recently made by the ITF, and express our deep worries about the unilateral actions of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and totally endorse your concerns about the threat to the health and safety of those working on or passing through the Canal.
On behalf of the ETF Tug Steering Committee we call on the ACP to withdraw its measure, to cease its attacks on UCOC and to return to the principle of meaningful social dialogue with UCOC and the other unions representing crews working on the Canal.