ITF backs Port of Rotterdam industrial action

08 Jan 2016
FNV Havens went on strike at the Port of Rotterdam over job guarantees

FNV Havens went on strike at the Port of Rotterdam over job guarantees

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) have expressed their support for the Dutch dockers’ union FNV Havens following its industrial action.

Union members walked out of work and onto the picket line at 3pm local time on 7 January at the Port of Rotterdam.

The strike came after employers failed to meet demands over job guarantees once two new Maasvlakte terminals become fully operational.

Niek Stam, FNV Havens secretary, said: “Hundreds of jobs are being put risk because there just isn’t the industry growth in Rotterdam to sustain these new terminals as well as the existing ones; employers are trying to play musical chairs with our jobs!”

“Members are going to take action because they know that they have to stand up for their rights as hard working men and women. Our livelihoods and the future of our families and our communities rely on decent, secure jobs and those things are worth fighting for,” he added.

The union wants guarantee of job security for all employees who had a permanent job on 1 January 2015, until at least 2022.

Dutch workers were joined by representatives from Ver.di in Germany and CGT in Le Havre, France on the picket line.

“We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at the Port of Rotterdam," said Torben Seebold, second vice chair of the ITF dockers’ section and vice chair of the ETF dockers’ section.

He concluded: “The decision to take strike action is not an easy one but after months of fruitless negotiation and on an issue this important, dockers here have been left with little choice. They have the support of transport workers around the world.”