ITF Announces East Asia Week of Action (2/3)

 

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation, to which the SIU is affiliated, has issued the following news release, dated Feb. 3. More information on the federation is available at www.itfglobal.org

 

East Asia week of action commences Monday

 

Unions and the ITF are working together to stage an East Asia week of action from 6 to 10 February. The action will take place in Japan, Korea, Russia and Taiwan.

 

ITF Japan Coordinator Fusao Ohori explained: “The campaign in this region focuses on the safety condition of lifesaving appliances, cargo work equipment; the working terms and conditions of the crew; and applying ITF acceptable agreements for FOC vessels.

 

“Del Monte-operated ships will be receiving attention, following the company’s refusal to sign agreements. If the joint teams find serious safety issues they will request the ship’s owners rectify them in line with international conventions, or ask port state control to investigate.”

 

He continued: “The dockworkers’ union will pay particular attention to the port of Mishima-Kawanoe where there have been reports of low wages, long working hours and injuries among casual workers. There will also be rallies outside the offices of shipping line Kotoku Kaiun, which has refused to sign ITF agreements, as well as in front of the head office of Dowa Line in Tokyo.”

 

HK Kim, ITF Korean coordinator, said: “Our strategy for this week is checking incoming ships one week before arrival, sending a warning letter to the owner, then carrying out a physical check.

 

“Korean inspectors, supported by local seafarer and docker union members, will make up four strong volunteer teams. Our particular targets for oversight and action include Kotoku and Dowa lines; highlighting safety issues; and education on the dockers’ ports of convenience/global network terminals campaigns.”

 

She concluded: “We will also be collecting data on Chinese-owned flag of convenience ships, which are using increasing numbers of Burmese and Vietnamese crew – we have heard that these nationalities are being refused shore leave passes on their first call at one port, and we will be investigating this situation and raising it with the government.”

 

Huang Yu-Sheng, ITF Taiwan coordinator, said: “At Kaohsiung port we will focus on the condition and provision of lifesaving appliances, safety equipment, and cargo handling equipment, as well as on crew terms and conditions.

 

“Campaign activities around the issues of flags of convenience and ports of convenience will be staged in cooperation with the Kaohsiung branch of the National Chinese Seamen’s Union.”

 

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