IBF agreement secures dockers’ lashing rights

Lashing cargo Lashing cargo. Image courtesy of Andrea Guerra/Flickr

The terms of the new International Bargaining Forum (IBF) Agreement have been approved securing dockers’ right to carry out lashing and other cargo handling services in ports.

Members of the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s (ITF) expanded Fair Practices Committee Steering Group (FPC SG) highlighted the new terms agreed in Article 4, Non-Seafarers Work or the ‘Dockers’ Clause’, as a significant development in securing work for dockers.

Paddy Crumlin, ITF president and chair of the dockers’ section, said: “The signing of the Dockers’ Clause represents a recognition of the importance of having trained, experienced dockers undertaking this dangerous work. It’s a win for both seafarers and dockers in an environment where some shipowners continue to exploit seafarers and dockers.

“Conditions, safety and wages are under attack from companies like Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI). This Agreement shows the power of solidarity across all maritime workers.”

2020 deadline

The ITF and Joint Negotiating Group (JNG), made up of international maritime employers, met this month to negotiate the IBF Framework Agreement 2019-2022, following which the ITF’s expanded Fair Practices Committee Steering Group (FPC SG) met and approved the terms of the new IBF Agreement.

Torben Seebold, vice-chair of the ETF and ITF International Dockers’ Section and ver.di maritime coordinator, commented: “With immediate effect, we have a mandate to approach companies operating in the Baltic Sea, northern and western Europe and Canadian waters to demand that lashing work be exclusively carried out by dockers, with this requirement to be fully implemented by 1 January 2020.

“We have been fighting to reclaim lashing for dockworkers as part of the ETF/ITF lashing campaign since May 2015. This is a huge step forward.”

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