ITF president Paddy Crumlin joined Argentinian workers this week showing solidarity for their colleagues in the ongoing Spanish dockers' dispute.
Dockers at sites run by global network terminal operators (GNTs) Hutchison and DP World in Buenos Aires, Argentina, expressed their unwavering support for brothers and sisters whose jobs are at risk as a result of proposed port labour reform in Spain.
From the dock, Crumlin said: "These workers recognise that a fight for one of our dockers' unions is a fight for all of them, whether you're a worker in Argentina or in Spain or anywhere else. They see themselves as part of a strong global union family because that's exactly what they are. These port reforms are reckless and misguided and our robust global response reflects that."
The ITF has an ongoing programme to support dockworkers around the world to build their union power, take on the challenges of automation and fight back against the race to the bottom on health and safety standards.
Crumlin continued: “I’ve been hearing direct from workers about the daily struggles they're up against like the threat of automation. Let's be clear, automation in ports is often used as a union busting tactic. The myth is that it saves money when infact, we know it can be a waste of shareholder value because actual crane rates come down in an automated terminal.
“Along with the Spanish Government’s anti-union initiative, the Patricks corporation in Australia is initiating, yet again, an outsourcing of stevedoring work to break the union workforce at Port Botany under the guise of increased productivity and legal jurisdiction. In reality these initiatives reflect the desire of some employers and governments to reduce the power of unions and with that the voice of the workforce. This is part of a war on workers and we as the ITF are treating it as such.
“QUBE and Brookfield, who have recently purchased Patricks, will not be allowed to base competition on undermining the existing rights of workers - the same goes for the Spanish government.
"Working men and women are fighting for their families, for their dignity and for their basic human rights and they have our unfaltering support as that fight continues by ITF Dockers seafarers and transport workers world wide.”