ITF hits back over Euro ports’ directive

Union might: The ITF says Union might: The ITF says "if it ain't broke don't fix it"

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has criticised what it calls persistent attempts to erode the job security and working conditions of dockworkers in Europe.

Terje Samuelsen, Europe chair of the ITF dockers’ section and chair of the European Transport Workers’ Federation dockers’ section, said that the EC’s reaction to the early demise of its port packages looks like “sour grapes” or in the very least a desire to smuggle in a new port package under a different name.

He said that either way it’s putting productive dialogue at risk where it works well between employers and unions. “Dockers across Europe will continue to ram home the point to the EC that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said.

ITF said that EC infringement procedures that have been, or are about to be initiated against a number of European governments, including Spain and Belgium, challenge the existing rights of dockworkers.

It said that there has been a complete lack of transparency and accountability surrounding the process where anonymous complaints can be made via a website.

The union said it will challenge “mis-information” which appeared on the website and said that contrary to some allegations, European Ports are cost effective, efficient and make sizeable contributions to the both national and the European economy.

It has called on the Commission to desist from actions that undermine workers and instead focus on addressing the combined effects of insufficient cargo growth, automation and overcapacity in European ports by working more closely with the unions.

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