ITF Reports Big Win as Polish Dockers Union Signs Contract (4/20)

 

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation, to which the SIU is affiliated, has issued the following news release, dated April 20, 2016:


ITF welcomes end to bitter dispute as Polish port union signs CBA

 

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is joining its Polish affiliated dockers’ union Solidarność today in celebrating the signing of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with Deepwater Container Terminal (DCT) Gdansk.

 

The signing marks the end of a bitter three-year dispute between the port and its workforce that has included complaints from the union over victimization and harassment by the employer and the firing of union leaders. There has been support from the global trade union community with demonstrations at DCT Gdansk and in other European countries targeting the bank that owns the port, Macquarie.

 

The historic agreement, 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. A second terminal is due to open next year and the workforce will grow to 1,500 workers as the port seeks to become the main gateway to Russia and central Europe.

 

The agreement also provides a satisfactory resolution to the labor dispute that has been registered with the Polish National Commission since June 2015.

 

ITF Dockers’ Section Vice-Chair Torben Seebold said: “We are pleased that our brothers and sisters in Gdansk have won their battle to secure a voice in their workplace. The ITF family has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them as they have fought against the belligerent and [intimidating] 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 neighboring countries. It is no less than they deserve.

 

“We are sending out an important message to all port owners,” he continued. “We will not let you get away with trying to drive down pay and conditions by building new ports and employing cheap labor.”

 

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