Unite campaign escalates as first vessel calls at London Gateway

12 Nov 2013

European dockers’ unions are showing support for ETF affiliate Unite, as they continue their campaign for trade union rights at London Gateway, which has officially opened for business this week.

The first vessel docked at the new DPW operated terminal on Wednesday night (5 November) to be met by a demonstration. A Unite delegation has gone on to meet the vessel at its next port of call in Rotterdam, where further actions will be staged with the backing of the local union, ETF affiliated FNV Bondgenoten.

On Tuesday, 30 representatives from European dockers’ unions affiliated to the ETF and the International Dockworkers’ Council, met at the Unite offices in London and released a statement pledging support. The statement reads: “The meeting agreed that the behaviour exhibited by DP World at London Gateway was symptomatic of a wider attack on trade unions in the European ports sector. The meeting resolved to coordinate support for UNITE the Union by all lawful means to achieve its legitimate demands for union recognition at London Gateway and to ensure that DPW London Gateway re-commits to the process of negotiation with UNITE to allow a timetable to be developed jointly which covers union access and company neutrality.”

Practical support from other European unions has also been secured with various actions expected over the coming weeks at ports receiving vessels from London Gateway.