The opening of London Gateway in early November marked a step up in Unite’s campaign for recognition by the port’s owner, Dubai Ports World (DPW).
The first vessel to dock at the new container port, the MOL Caledon has been getting a special welcome at subsequent ports thanks to dockers’ unions around Europe. The campaign also picketed the London office of Maersk, one of the partners in the SAECS consortium, which owns the ship.
“In Rotterdam, the vessel’s next port-of-call, the MOL Caledon has been the target of solidarity action by the Dutch dockers’ union, joined by a Unite delegation,” said Unite regional officer Jane Jeffery. “We have been also talking to other dockworkers’ unions in Bremerhaven, Germany and Algeciras, Spain to coordinate action.
“Dockworkers around the world are campaigning against ports like London Gateway which the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has called ‘a port of convenience’,” said Jane Jeffery. The ITF is concerned that London Gateway and other ports of convenience drive down labour and safety standards, powering a race to the bottom as ports try to cut costs to win business.
Unite hosted a meeting of 30 representatives from European dockers’ unions this month. They resolved to coordinate international support for the campaign for recognition at London Gateway and for dockworkers worldwide.
Dockers in Southampton and other ports around the world from Australia to Peru mounted demonstrations against the anti-union practices of London Gateway operator, DPW, in October.
Unite continues its campaign - now in its 23rd week - with demonstrations at the Essex port and businesses in London which associate themselves with DPW and its directors.
Contact the Unite 4 Gateway campaign team:
Email Jane Jeffery or Paul Constable for details of demonstrations.
Info: Follow @Unite4Gateway on Twitter
‘Like’ the Unite4Gateway Facebook group