ITF Chalks Up Victories In Latin America And The Middle East

Workers in Morocco, Turkey, Peru and Costa Rica have won major battles in recent months thanks to worldwide solidarity of transport workers

Three of these victories have been in the past week.

"This is unprecedented," said Paddy Crumlin, ITF President and secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia.  "To see this level of success as the worlds transport workers flex their collective muscle, shows how successful global solidarity and action can be."

PERU

This week striking 581 dock workers in Peru confronting armed military and police strike breakers are back at the negotiating table after intervention from the International Transport Workers' Federation.

The  20 day strike in Callao, Peru was suspended after the employers' representatives set out a proposal which recognises the Union and the right to collective bargaining. You can read more about the story here:

General secretary of SUTRAMPORPC, Wilmer Estevez Morales, and his members are extremely grateful to the ITF and ITF Affiliates' for their support and solidarity.

MOROCCO

Also this week in Morocco dockworkers won their fight to see four unionists reinstated after they were dismissed last year.

ITF online reports the agreement between the ITF-affiliated Union des Syndicats des Transports (UMT) and APM Terminals Tangier, which was signed on 9 February, has confirmed the reinstatement of union board member Omar Zenfa and three other activists, Reda Al-Maarfi, Abu Baker Al-Sinhaji and Khaled Al-Bsat. They were dismissed last year in what may have been an anti-union drive by local management; unionists went on strike in Tangier on 5 January in protest over the sackings and following the failure of talks with management on 22 December.

Under the agreement the workers will also receive compensation for the period of their dismissal and negotiations to address the union's demands will begin on 21 February.

Said Elhayrash, UMT president said that he appreciated the ITF's support as well as the backing of all ITF affiliates who have stood in solidarity with the union during the dispute. The ITF wrote to the managing director of APM Terminals Tangier on more than one occasion to protest over the dismissals and called for affiliated unions to show solidarity with the unionists.

Bilal Malkawi, ITF Arab World office, said: "The union won its fight because all members in Morocco, the ITF and its affiliates backed the union. Management should learn from this lesson - instead of closing its doors, it needs to be open to bargaining with unions. I am sure both union and management will reach a collective bargaining agreement very soon.

"Congratulations to all of us as ITF family," said Bilal Malkawi

"Union president Said Elhayrash said that he appreciate the ITF support and all ITF affiliates who stand in solidarity with the union during the long dispute. "

COSTA RICA

The two recent dockworker victories follow another major win in Costa Rica last year after a court application by ITF affiliate ILWU against the government was successful.  The Costa Rican court rejected what the ILWU dubbed an illegal coup in the local Longshore Union.

TURKEY

Finally 162 Turkish transport workers this week won their jobs back following a 10-month fight against global delivery giant UPS. (see YouTube clip)

Dismissed for their union activity and support, the workers and their union Türkiye Motorlu Tasit Isçileri Sendikasi (TÜMTİS) as well as international labour organisations, advanced the struggle to unionise the parcel delivery industry.

In a settlement reached on 1 February, ITF online reports most workers were reinstated and all received a compensation package; in return the union and its allies lifted picket lines at UPS worksites around Turkey. The victory gives the three-year global delivery campaign in Turkey a huge boost towards sound industrial relations in the future.