European dockers - victory in EU Parliament

The European Parliament voted today to throw out the proposed Directive on Market Access to Port Services. An incredible number of 532 against 120 MEPs voted for rejection.

Submitted by Steven. on January 19, 2006

The directive, intended to liberalise cargo handling at seaports, will lead to lost jobs, lower wages and less safety, dock workers state.

Hopefully, this will mean that the European Commission will now withdraw their proposals and initiate discussions and negotiations with the major European port industry stake-holders in order to create a ports policy that will be truly beneficial to the industry.

Peter Shaw, of the Swedish Dockworkers Union stated on
"We have won a fantastic and historic victory for the International Dockworker’s Family and we have, with our strikes and demonstrations [see picture, above], sent a very clear message around the world that we do not compromise over docker’s job-security and working conditions."

He added:
"Many thanks to all the politicians who have supported us along this long and difficult road and, of course, thanks and congratulations to our union brothers and sisters from ILWU, ILA, MUA and others who were by our side all the way, and right up to the demonstration in Strasbourg last Monday. A victory for one is a victory for all!"

Background to the directive, and workers' action against it:

European Parliament protest report: