Port Botany Site Committee Representative, Angelo Dymock, reports from the 2014 ITF Congress in Sofia:
Dock workers all over the world are continually under attack. This situation is not isolated to Australia. We have the same workers’ conditions under attack in Australia as they are in Indonesia, India, Panama, Liberia, Belgium and the list goes on.
Our members must have a better understanding of the issues on a global scale and not only in the issues in their respective ports in Australia.
The multinational companies taking on the trade unions do not discriminate against workers no matter where they sit geographically. Workers’ wages, rosters, training, permanent jobs, collective bargaining and much, much more are consistently under attack.
The next challenge and fight for dock workers is automation.
Although automation is relatively new in Australia by networking with our comrades in Europe we can instill some minimum standards for automation. By networking with our comrades in other countries we are building stronger relationships.
The MUA had the foresight in the amalgamation of the seafarers and dockers to become stronger organisation and this is recognised internationally. Now countries around the world are following suit. In doing this we are in a much stronger position in our campaigns such as flag of convenience (FOC).
The message that I bring back from the ITF Congress is for everyone, including myself, to be more informed. The threat of privatisation and labour supply issues by the government is real. As I mentioned, these problems are global. By working with committees and branches in democratic debates, workers can be more informed about issues.