Army Works Peru Docks During Strike

Call for solidarity action goes out.

Armed troops and police are waging a brutal crackdown against dock workers fighting port privatisation in yet another war on the waterfront, this time in Peru.

On 4 November 2010, the dockworkers union, Sutramporpc won a legal ruling in the Supreme Court of Justice on arbitration between the union and the two federations of port employers. This recognised the union’s right to collectively bargain for all stevedores in Callao in 2007-2008. SUTRAMPORPC (Sindicato Único de Trabajadores Marítimos y Portuarios del Puerto del Callao) says that the employers have effectively ignored the ruling and have not engaged in genuine dialogue about workers’ rights and the future of the port.
 
On 19 January 2011, following employers’ failure to negotiate, port workers of Callao had no other alternative than to protest and down tools to demand compliance with the legal ruling granting them the right to freedom of association.
 
On 20 January 2011 the army and police were called in to break the strike and workers were harassed and detained.

The union has advised that they will sustain the strike until their demands are met. They say this is not about wages, but about honouring the legal ruling that the union has the right to collective bargaining and an end to all the human rights violations of the port workers.

Paddy Crumlin, International Transport Workers' Federation president and dockers chair has joined the world outcry over the labour rights violations which include military personnel and police strikebreakers, some dressed as civilians, harassing and detaining dock workers.

"This use of military or para military against dock workers failed in Australia in 1998 when ITF workers of the world showed their solidarity and it will fail in Peru We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of Sutramporpc" said Paddy Crumlin who is also National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia.

In a circular to the ITF Dockers Section Committee, Frank Leys reports the 585 dockers of Puerto Callao in Peru, members of Sutramporpc downed tools on January 19.

"These Dockers are fighting until the bitter end and need your help," said Frank Leys. 

The ITF is alerting affiliates to at least seven vessels loaded by military strike breakers now on route to world ports. 

"I am sure you will give them the appropriate welcome when they call your port," he said.

The ITF has written to the Peruvian President of Peru, Sr. Alan Pérez on behalf the 5 million transport workers, it represents to intervene and cease all Human Rights violations of the port workers. 

The union has agreed to resume negotiations with management next Tuesday.

Meanwhile members are urged to send messages of solidarity to Wilmer Esteves Morales  

TAKE ACTION

Meanwhile the ILWU announced a major victory in Costa Rica this summer with Sintrajap  (Sindicato de Trabajadores de Japdeva) winning a major battle against State sponsored phony candidates for their trade union