Support grows for Norwegian dockers’ boycott

21 Nov 2013

ETF- and ITF-affiliated transport unions from across Denmark, Sweden and Norway have pledged their support to dockers in Risavika Terminal who are now in the second week of their boycott.

Members of the Norwegian Transport Workers’ Union (NTF) began action in Risavika, near Stavanger, on 1 November, over the refusal of management to sign up to the national collective agreement covering dockworkers.

Instead employer Risavika Terminal AS, is said to be proposing to use seafarers to carry out cargo handling duties, in direct contravention of the ITF dockers’ clause which states that ship’s crew should not carry out work historically or traditionally done by dockers.

During the Scandinavian transport workers’ conference, 186 participants gave their full support to the NTF. In addition, dockers’ unions across Europe and worldwide have rallied to back workers in Risavika since the boycott began. Letters of solidarity have been sent from unions across the ETF and ITF regions.

A message from the NTF sent out to all ETF and ITF affiliates this week also urged dockers’ unions across Europe and worldwide, to be involved directly, or via lawful solidarity action, in a demonstration planned in Risavika on Wednesday 27 November.

Chair of the ETF dockers’ committee with NTF Terje Samuelsen said: “The support being given to dockers here in Norway is invaluable. The struggle for an agreement at Risavika is just one example of the attack on dockers in Europe and around the world, and standing together to face that kind of threat head on is crucial. Companies want to erode good working conditions in our docks, crush unions and increase profits, but we can’t and won’t allow that to happen.”