Polish ETF affiliate Solidarność has signed yesterday, 20 April 2016, a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with Deepwater Container Terminal (DCT) Gdansk. This settles a long lasting dispute between the port and its workforce including complaints from the union over victimisation and harassment by the employer and the firing of union leaders.
The agreement follows demonstrations at DCT Gdansk and in other European countries with support from the European and global trade union community. The CBA, valid until 31 March 2019, covers pay rates, hours of work, holidays and general conditions for 600 workers at the fast-growing new terminal in northern Poland. The port seeks to become the main gateway to Russia and central Europe and opens next year a second terminal providing jobs for 1,500 workers.
ETF and ITF dockers’ section vice-chair TorbenSeebold said: “We are pleased that our brothers and sisters in Gdansk have won their battle to secure a voice in their workplace. The ITF and ETF family has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them as they have fought against the belligerent and intimidatory tactics of previous management. A change in management at DCT Gdansk was overdue and now we are hopeful that dockers there can have better standards that are consistent with those in neighbouring countries. It is no less than they deserve. We are sending out an important message to all port owners; we will not let you get away with trying to drive down pay and conditions by building new ports and employing cheap labour.”
ETF dockers’ section chair Terje Samuelsen concluded: “We are extremely proud of the victory of our Polish members. This is a great example of international solidarity among transport workers“.