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Europe capitalists and their politicians insist on unwanted railway privatisation The great train robbery

Current News - Sat, 06/04/2016 - 13:26

Europe capitalists and their politicians insist on unwanted railway privatisation
The great train robbery

https://mondediplo.com/2016/06/01edito

Le Monde Diplomatique June 2016

Europe insists on unwanted railway privatisation
The great train robbery
The European Council intended to simplify Europe’s railways, but privatised networks have neglected safety, community and environment in pursuit of profit.
by Julian Mischi and Valérie Solano
The station in Parchim (population 20,000) in northern Germany is for sale; its graffitied buildings are locked, and there is only a coach timetable on display. At the red brick station in Ashington (population 28,000) in the north of England, an askew sign on the boarded-up ticket office warns passers-by to stay clear of the track: the express from Edinburgh goes through three times an hour without stopping. A local said: “By train, we’d be half an hour from Newcastle, but they don’t run any more. The motorway gets congested as you near the city so you can’t be sure how long it’ll take. But there’s no other route, so the coach has to use the motorway.” If the traffic keeps moving, it takes 55 minutes to Newcastle by coach and 30 by car.

Station closures are a visible result of the liberalisation of the railways across Europe over the past 25 years. It did not happen unopposed. In May 2014, residents of Haukivuori in Finland demonstrated against the closure of their station and one, Liisa Pulliainen, said: “It’s unbelievable that they’re closing a station that’s existed for 125 years just to cut three minutes off the journey from Kouvola to Kuopio. It’s as though more than 12,000 people no longer matter to VR [VR-Yhtymä Oy, Finland’s state rail company]. All this to create a plane on rails.” Privatisation creates two-tier transport systems: the high-speed lines — planes on rails — are used by the most affluent travellers, who get all the attention, while local transit and everyday needs are neglected (1).

Finland’s state rail operator, now restructured on EU advice as a group of 21 companies, closed 28 out of 200 stations in September 2015 and reduced passenger services on branch lines. This March, the government indicated that it would open up the railways to competition, and a few days later, VR announced it was laying off 200 drivers, which provoked a 24-hour strike. The strikers were especially critical of the deterioration in services because of competition: it is now impossible to get information in Finnish stations or aboard trains, to get directions to connecting services or to have luggage transported. Travellers have to find their own information and buy tickets online.

The situation is similar at Stockholm’s central station, where many rail operators compete for passengers, making travel options complicated. (Travellers have a choice of 36 operators to get to Malmö.) Tickets booked in advance are cheaper, as is off-peak travel, but these tickets are not transferable if travellers miss their train. They need to spend time online seeking out the best deal, as ticket office staff only give information about their own company.

Making travel simpler

The ambitions of European Council directives passed since 1991 — especially the railway packages introduced since 2001 — are clear: to simplify rail travel, stimulate competition and bring down fares. The ultimate goals are a universal ticketing system with transparent pricing, interoperability between countries (harmonised electricity supplies, track gauges, signalling and safety standards) and more high-speed trains. These sound attractive, but come with conditions: the break-up of national rail companies through the separation of infrastructure (the track) and train operation (transport services), then a further splitting of functions (sales, cleaning, maintenance, train driving and controls) to create competition.

The first packages dealt with goods transport, which was massively deregulated, so rail freight companies are now in competition not just with each other, but with road hauliers too. In this environment, rail companies have diversified into road haulage on the model of France’s SNCF and its Geodis subsidiary, and as a result, while the volume of goods transported in Europe has remained relatively stable, rail freight’s share has shrunk. Road haulage can reach places no longer served by the rail network, and its operators have benefited from a reduction in costs after this sector of the European market was opened up. This has been detrimental to air quality, as road haulage is a major producer of pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Competition has harmed wages as well as impacting the environment, as is apparent in Switzerland, a transport hub for north-south traffic. Crossrail AG, which has taken advantage of the opening up of the Swiss network, pays its drivers under the terms of Italian law: 3,600 Swiss francs ($3,685) a month, 2,000 francs ($2,050) less than the salaries of Swiss national operator CFF. In 2016 a federal court found in favour of the transport workers’ union, SEV, which claimed Crossrail’s pay policy breached railway law, stipulating that access to the Swiss network is contingent on observing prevailing employment conditions.

Swedish rail workers struck for over two weeks in 2014 in protest against Veolia’s contracts and pay rates. The French company, which operates a franchise in southern Sweden, had planned to end the full-time contracts of 250 railway workers and re-employ them on temporary or part-time contracts. Journalist Mikael Nyberg has called the dismantling of Sweden’s national rail system, which used to have a reputation as one of the fairest and most reliable in Europe, “the great train robbery” (2), and an opinion poll found that 70% of Swedes favoured a return to a state railway monopoly (3). Since privatisation in 2001, travellers have not experienced the promised benefits: the network is expensive, complicated and unpunctual. The increase in rail traffic has worsened congestion and causes regular disruption: 70% of the network is single-track, so the rail infrastructure is unable to develop the promised high-speed train service, as goods trains and frequently-stopping regional services slow down fast trains, and any disruptions have immediate knock-on effects. The solution would be to build a new network rather than adapt the existing one, and one is planned between Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö. But competition among operators has done little to improve the network. Infrastructure investment is not profitable, and does not appeal to rail operators anywhere.

Accidents are up

With inadequate investment across Europe, the number of rail accidents has been increasing since Hatfield in 2000 (four dead, 35 injured) and Potters Bar in 2002 (seven dead and 76 injured): both were in the UK, which led the way in rail privatisation. The inquiry into the Hatfield derailment found the entire UK network was in poor condition because of chronic under-investment, although Railtrack, the now-defunct company that owned and ran it, was amassing profits. Railtrack was ordered to replace defective track and requested government subsidies, some of which went on dividends to shareholders (4). In France, the reduction of production costs and the subcontracting of maintenance have degraded the network. The derailment on 12 July 2013 at the station in Brétigny-sur-Orge (seven dead, 70 injured) was the result of a defective fishplate connecting two rails. Such safety issues are partly the result of the poor quality of the track, but also of poor training, especially of drivers. On 8 March 2013 a locomotive at the Penthalaz shunting yard in Switzerland crashed through buffers because it was going too fast, and ended up in the river. A pointsman reported that “the driver didn’t understand what I was telling him, but the main problem was he didn’t understand the engine at all because he’d never seen the instruction manual till he got in the cab.” The driver worked for a subcontractor.

The quest to cut costs, besides eroding working conditions for employees of the major national rail companies, also undermines a tough professional code of ethics that always ensured that anything on the rails was in perfect working order. The new management pressures staff to increase productivity at the expense of quality, and consequently safety. A maintenance worker for Switzerland’s CFF for 32 years told us: “I’ve always had excellent appraisals, but then my boss told me off for doing too good a job, for being too scrupulous; ‘just do your bit and don’t worry about anything else.’ But I can’t work like that. If you see a worn cable, you replace it, even if your job is working on the brakes. My job is safety. They’re always on at us about that, but safety means paying attention to everything. Not doing a sloppy job.”

The story from workers and managers was the same at an SNCF maintenance depot in central France. The former HR director described how profitability became much more important in the 2000s: “Before then, the main thing was that the job was done well. There wasn’t this idea of accounting for costs; we were mostly concerned with the quality of the service provided. The service had to be good. If it was expensive, that didn’t matter too much.” Safety was the priority then; now comparisons with the private sector on the cost of hours worked are standard.

The French government will stop funding most night trains this year, and passenger rail services will be opened up to competition in 2020, the last possible date permitted by the EU; the EU is initially targeting commercial national lines (the TGV) — and then “public service” lines (local and intercity), probably in 2024. This timeframe explains the intensity of recent SNCF industrial action: the unions are trying to make their voices heard in negotiations with the Union for Public Transportation (UTP), made up of the SNCF and private operators, on the collective agreement that will govern working conditions for all railway employees.

The fourth railway package means to make countries that have been slow to deregulate yield, ostensibly to “eliminate the last obstacles to the creation of a single European rail space” (5). The reiterated aim is to create a more competitive sector, though the negative effects of the widespread introduction of competition are already apparent. After the Hatfield crash, the UK government had to involve itself again in the railways it had privatised seven years earlier (Railways Act, 1993), though it stuck to deregulation with passenger services. Since privatisation, around 30 different companies have held UK franchises. That privatisation has been a fiasco is evident from the incessant rise in ticket prices (6% in 2012; 4.2% in 2013; 2.8% in 2014; 2.5% in 2015) and from the regular injections of public cash needed to keep the infrastructure functioning (6).

There is a further problem — especially if the UK exits the EU — that few UK franchise holders are British companies: Deutsche Bahn (through its subsidiary, Arriva), France’s Keolis and RAPT, and the Netherlands’ Abellio. So privatisation has actually contributed to the decline of UK-funded businesses. Citizens’ groups have for years run campaigns to reopen stations or lines previously classified as unnecessary or unprofitable (7). In the UK as elsewhere, there is potential for railway workers, passengers and local politicians to join together to defend the values of public transport.

Julian Mischi is a sociologist and the author of Le Bourg et l’Atelier: Sociologie du combat syndical,Agone, Marseille, 2016; Valérie Solano is union secretary of SEV, the Swiss railway employees’ union.

(1) See Vincent Doumayrou, “Public transport to the fore”, Le Monde diplomatique, English edition, September 2012.

(2) Mikael Nyberg, Det Stora Tågrånet (The Great Train Robbery), Karneval, Stockholm, 2011.

(3) Jenny Björkman and Björn Fjæstad, “Svenskarna vill ha statlig järnväg och marknadshyror”, Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, 7 June 2014.

(4) Christian Wolmar, “Forget Byers: the scandal was in the original sell-off”, The Guardian, London, 8 July 2005.

(5) The 4th railway package: improving Europe’s railways, 22 December 2015.

(6) “Report from Sir Peter Hendy to the Secretary of State for Transport on the re-planning of Network Rail’s Investment Programme”, November 2015.

(7) www.disused-stations.org.uk/...

Tags: European trade union privatizationRail Privatization
Categories: Labor News

China: Labour activist charged for inciting subversion over Tiananmen Square articles

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: HKCTU
Categories: Labor News

Seattle City Council rejects sports stadium plan that threatened waterfront jobs

ILWU - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 11:43
  • ILWU activists convince City Council that port access is critical to the region’s jobs and economy

 

A controversial plan to build a sports stadium in Seattle’s “South of Downtown” (SoDo) industrial area next to the Port of Seattle was rejected by the City Council on May 2.

The 4 1/2-year struggle pitted a billionaire hedge fund tycoon and powerful developers against a community coalition of progressives, trade unions, the maritime business community, Port of Seattle, ILWU leaders and members from several locals. The coalition worked together to protect hundreds of good-paying waterfront jobs that would be threatened by the stadium’s inevitable traffic jams and gentrification.

More than 100 rank-and-file longshore workers spoke out and participated in public hearings. In addition to the community support, the ILWU’s lawmakers in Olympia – resulting from work by the Puget Sound District Council’s lobbyist.

The deciding vote involved whether to turn over a public street to the private developers. That proposal was defeated by the City Council in a dramatic 5-4 vote.

“This fight was always about finding the best location for a new stadium – which never should have been in SoDo,” said John Persak, President of the ILWU’s Puget Sound District Council, who helped coordinate the fight. He credited the victory to diverse community support that included ILWU members and pensioners who attended meetings and made phone calls to City Council members.

Former Local 19 President Cam Williams made the decision more than four years ago to challenge the SoDo location. Williams, who now serves as a Coast Committeman at the ILWU’s San Francisco headquarters, made the key decision with members in 2012 to challenge the stadium location and enlist expert legal help from the Washington Forest Law Center, a respected public-interest environmental group.

A slew of court hearings, mailings, news reports, editorials, and debates followed – sometimes generating intense pressure against the union from Seattle’s political establishment. Persak credits current Local 19 President Rich Austin, Jr. for continuing to support the fight after being elected President where he worked with other ILWU Locals and the District Council.

Persak is careful to note that the SoDo Stadium plan was wounded on May 2, but not killed. “We’ll have to remain vigilant to make sure our support from the Council remains solid because the pressure from the political establishment to build in SoDo is enormous.”

 

Categories: Unions

Striking San Diego Teamsters Local 542 First Transit workers speak about social conditions

Current News - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 11:08

Striking San Diego Teamsters Local 542 First Transit workers speak about social conditions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt9eOXhFYNc

Tags: transit workersFirst TransitTeamster Local 542
Categories: Labor News

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision

Current News - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 10:54

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision
http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/shane-ross-slams-us-over-frustr...
03/06/2016

An attendee at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) symposium in Dublin
Transport Minister Shane Ross has blasted US authorities for the delay in granting Norwegian Air International (NAI) a permit that would enable it to fly between Cork and Boston.

NAI, a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, has spent the past two years trying to secure the licence.
"As the global debate continues on the further liberalisation of international aviation, it is apparent that there are interests on both sides of the Atlantic that would like to reverse the process," Mr Ross told global aviation executives at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday.

"It is unfortunate that Norwegian... appears to have fallen victim to this wider global debate," he said.
"The airline is already providing new routes at low cost between places on both sides of the Atlantic that have never had transatlantic services before."

NAI has established a base in Dublin, where it employs close to 100 people, and also has aircraft registered here.
It had intended to start flights between Cork and Boston this summer, and between Cork and New York next year. It is also interested in starting a route from Shannon to the US.

The subsidiary wants to use Ireland as a base so it can fly between Europe and the US under the Open Skies agreement that allows airlines from the EU and the US unfettered access to each other's territories.
But intense political and union opposition to NAI's plans has delayed a decision on its permit.

Mr Ross said NAI had been unable to launch its service from Cork and that it's "extremely frustrating" that it has not been able to do so yet.
He said the delay is "not in the interests of the many people in the Cork and Boston regions".

Opponents to NAI claim it is using Ireland as a base to circumvent more stringent employment law in Norway.
The airline has consistently denied such claims. The US Department of Transportation recently indicated that it intends to grant the permit to NAI. But that decision has to receive final approval from executive branches of the US government. There's no timeline on when that decision has to be made.

The chief executive of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Eamonn Brennan, said this week that he's concerned that a decision on a permit could be pushed out to later in the year. The US presidential election could delay the process.
Both democratic presidential nominee hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have said they're opposed to NAI's plans.

Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy yesterday welcomed Mr Ross's comments.
Irish Independent

Tags: US Irishairlines
Categories: Labor News

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision

Current News - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 10:54

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision
http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/shane-ross-slams-us-over-frustr...
03/06/2016

An attendee at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) symposium in Dublin
Transport Minister Shane Ross has blasted US authorities for the delay in granting Norwegian Air International (NAI) a permit that would enable it to fly between Cork and Boston.

NAI, a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, has spent the past two years trying to secure the licence.
"As the global debate continues on the further liberalisation of international aviation, it is apparent that there are interests on both sides of the Atlantic that would like to reverse the process," Mr Ross told global aviation executives at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday.

"It is unfortunate that Norwegian... appears to have fallen victim to this wider global debate," he said.
"The airline is already providing new routes at low cost between places on both sides of the Atlantic that have never had transatlantic services before."

NAI has established a base in Dublin, where it employs close to 100 people, and also has aircraft registered here.
It had intended to start flights between Cork and Boston this summer, and between Cork and New York next year. It is also interested in starting a route from Shannon to the US.

The subsidiary wants to use Ireland as a base so it can fly between Europe and the US under the Open Skies agreement that allows airlines from the EU and the US unfettered access to each other's territories.
But intense political and union opposition to NAI's plans has delayed a decision on its permit.

Mr Ross said NAI had been unable to launch its service from Cork and that it's "extremely frustrating" that it has not been able to do so yet.
He said the delay is "not in the interests of the many people in the Cork and Boston regions".

Opponents to NAI claim it is using Ireland as a base to circumvent more stringent employment law in Norway.
The airline has consistently denied such claims. The US Department of Transportation recently indicated that it intends to grant the permit to NAI. But that decision has to receive final approval from executive branches of the US government. There's no timeline on when that decision has to be made.

The chief executive of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Eamonn Brennan, said this week that he's concerned that a decision on a permit could be pushed out to later in the year. The US presidential election could delay the process.
Both democratic presidential nominee hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have said they're opposed to NAI's plans.

Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy yesterday welcomed Mr Ross's comments.
Irish Independent

Tags: US Irishairlines
Categories: Labor News

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision

Current News - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 10:54

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision
http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/shane-ross-slams-us-over-frustr...
03/06/2016

An attendee at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) symposium in Dublin
Transport Minister Shane Ross has blasted US authorities for the delay in granting Norwegian Air International (NAI) a permit that would enable it to fly between Cork and Boston.

NAI, a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, has spent the past two years trying to secure the licence.
"As the global debate continues on the further liberalisation of international aviation, it is apparent that there are interests on both sides of the Atlantic that would like to reverse the process," Mr Ross told global aviation executives at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday.

"It is unfortunate that Norwegian... appears to have fallen victim to this wider global debate," he said.
"The airline is already providing new routes at low cost between places on both sides of the Atlantic that have never had transatlantic services before."

NAI has established a base in Dublin, where it employs close to 100 people, and also has aircraft registered here.
It had intended to start flights between Cork and Boston this summer, and between Cork and New York next year. It is also interested in starting a route from Shannon to the US.

The subsidiary wants to use Ireland as a base so it can fly between Europe and the US under the Open Skies agreement that allows airlines from the EU and the US unfettered access to each other's territories.
But intense political and union opposition to NAI's plans has delayed a decision on its permit.

Mr Ross said NAI had been unable to launch its service from Cork and that it's "extremely frustrating" that it has not been able to do so yet.
He said the delay is "not in the interests of the many people in the Cork and Boston regions".

Opponents to NAI claim it is using Ireland as a base to circumvent more stringent employment law in Norway.
The airline has consistently denied such claims. The US Department of Transportation recently indicated that it intends to grant the permit to NAI. But that decision has to receive final approval from executive branches of the US government. There's no timeline on when that decision has to be made.

The chief executive of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Eamonn Brennan, said this week that he's concerned that a decision on a permit could be pushed out to later in the year. The US presidential election could delay the process.
Both democratic presidential nominee hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have said they're opposed to NAI's plans.

Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy yesterday welcomed Mr Ross's comments.
Irish Independent

Tags: US Irishairlines
Categories: Labor News

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision

Current News - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 10:54

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision
http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/shane-ross-slams-us-over-frustr...
03/06/2016

An attendee at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) symposium in Dublin
Transport Minister Shane Ross has blasted US authorities for the delay in granting Norwegian Air International (NAI) a permit that would enable it to fly between Cork and Boston.

NAI, a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, has spent the past two years trying to secure the licence.
"As the global debate continues on the further liberalisation of international aviation, it is apparent that there are interests on both sides of the Atlantic that would like to reverse the process," Mr Ross told global aviation executives at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday.

"It is unfortunate that Norwegian... appears to have fallen victim to this wider global debate," he said.
"The airline is already providing new routes at low cost between places on both sides of the Atlantic that have never had transatlantic services before."

NAI has established a base in Dublin, where it employs close to 100 people, and also has aircraft registered here.
It had intended to start flights between Cork and Boston this summer, and between Cork and New York next year. It is also interested in starting a route from Shannon to the US.

The subsidiary wants to use Ireland as a base so it can fly between Europe and the US under the Open Skies agreement that allows airlines from the EU and the US unfettered access to each other's territories.
But intense political and union opposition to NAI's plans has delayed a decision on its permit.

Mr Ross said NAI had been unable to launch its service from Cork and that it's "extremely frustrating" that it has not been able to do so yet.
He said the delay is "not in the interests of the many people in the Cork and Boston regions".

Opponents to NAI claim it is using Ireland as a base to circumvent more stringent employment law in Norway.
The airline has consistently denied such claims. The US Department of Transportation recently indicated that it intends to grant the permit to NAI. But that decision has to receive final approval from executive branches of the US government. There's no timeline on when that decision has to be made.

The chief executive of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Eamonn Brennan, said this week that he's concerned that a decision on a permit could be pushed out to later in the year. The US presidential election could delay the process.
Both democratic presidential nominee hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have said they're opposed to NAI's plans.

Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy yesterday welcomed Mr Ross's comments.
Irish Independent

Tags: US Irishairlines
Categories: Labor News

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision

Current News - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 10:54

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision
http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/shane-ross-slams-us-over-frustr...
03/06/2016

An attendee at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) symposium in Dublin
Transport Minister Shane Ross has blasted US authorities for the delay in granting Norwegian Air International (NAI) a permit that would enable it to fly between Cork and Boston.

NAI, a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, has spent the past two years trying to secure the licence.
"As the global debate continues on the further liberalisation of international aviation, it is apparent that there are interests on both sides of the Atlantic that would like to reverse the process," Mr Ross told global aviation executives at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday.

"It is unfortunate that Norwegian... appears to have fallen victim to this wider global debate," he said.
"The airline is already providing new routes at low cost between places on both sides of the Atlantic that have never had transatlantic services before."

NAI has established a base in Dublin, where it employs close to 100 people, and also has aircraft registered here.
It had intended to start flights between Cork and Boston this summer, and between Cork and New York next year. It is also interested in starting a route from Shannon to the US.

The subsidiary wants to use Ireland as a base so it can fly between Europe and the US under the Open Skies agreement that allows airlines from the EU and the US unfettered access to each other's territories.
But intense political and union opposition to NAI's plans has delayed a decision on its permit.

Mr Ross said NAI had been unable to launch its service from Cork and that it's "extremely frustrating" that it has not been able to do so yet.
He said the delay is "not in the interests of the many people in the Cork and Boston regions".

Opponents to NAI claim it is using Ireland as a base to circumvent more stringent employment law in Norway.
The airline has consistently denied such claims. The US Department of Transportation recently indicated that it intends to grant the permit to NAI. But that decision has to receive final approval from executive branches of the US government. There's no timeline on when that decision has to be made.

The chief executive of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Eamonn Brennan, said this week that he's concerned that a decision on a permit could be pushed out to later in the year. The US presidential election could delay the process.
Both democratic presidential nominee hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have said they're opposed to NAI's plans.

Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy yesterday welcomed Mr Ross's comments.
Irish Independent

Tags: US Irishairlines
Categories: Labor News

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision

Current News - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 10:53

Shane Ross slams US over 'frustrating' delays on Cork air route decision
http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/shane-ross-slams-us-over-frustr...
03/06/2016

An attendee at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) symposium in Dublin
Transport Minister Shane Ross has blasted US authorities for the delay in granting Norwegian Air International (NAI) a permit that would enable it to fly between Cork and Boston.

NAI, a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, has spent the past two years trying to secure the licence.
"As the global debate continues on the further liberalisation of international aviation, it is apparent that there are interests on both sides of the Atlantic that would like to reverse the process," Mr Ross told global aviation executives at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday.

"It is unfortunate that Norwegian... appears to have fallen victim to this wider global debate," he said.
"The airline is already providing new routes at low cost between places on both sides of the Atlantic that have never had transatlantic services before."

NAI has established a base in Dublin, where it employs close to 100 people, and also has aircraft registered here.
It had intended to start flights between Cork and Boston this summer, and between Cork and New York next year. It is also interested in starting a route from Shannon to the US.

The subsidiary wants to use Ireland as a base so it can fly between Europe and the US under the Open Skies agreement that allows airlines from the EU and the US unfettered access to each other's territories.
But intense political and union opposition to NAI's plans has delayed a decision on its permit.

Mr Ross said NAI had been unable to launch its service from Cork and that it's "extremely frustrating" that it has not been able to do so yet.
He said the delay is "not in the interests of the many people in the Cork and Boston regions".

Opponents to NAI claim it is using Ireland as a base to circumvent more stringent employment law in Norway.
The airline has consistently denied such claims. The US Department of Transportation recently indicated that it intends to grant the permit to NAI. But that decision has to receive final approval from executive branches of the US government. There's no timeline on when that decision has to be made.

The chief executive of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Eamonn Brennan, said this week that he's concerned that a decision on a permit could be pushed out to later in the year. The US presidential election could delay the process.
Both democratic presidential nominee hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have said they're opposed to NAI's plans.

Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy yesterday welcomed Mr Ross's comments.
Irish Independent

Tags: US Irishairlines
Categories: Labor News

Drill Team Celebrates 50th Anniversary; founder Josh Williams honored at event

ILWU - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 09:37

Top honors: Longtime Local 10 member and active pensioner Josh Williams was honored for founding and leading the famous ILWU Drill Team.

Local 10 Drill Team members rolled out the red carpet to honor their longtime leader, “Captain Josh,” with a surprise party on April 30th that celebrated the Team’s 50th Anniversary.

Captain Josh was completely surprised and nearly speechless when he entered the OVO Tavern and Eatery in Oakland to discover the secret celebration was being held in his honor.

“Drill Team members and their families just wanted to surround Captain Josh with all our love and appreciation for everything that he’s given to our union and the Drill Team,” said Local 10’s Sabrina Giles.

Giles co-hosted the event with Local 10’s Trevel Adanandus who owns the OVO Tavern and donated the cake, hired a photographer and produced the event’s backdrop. She thanked a hard-working team of volunteers including Dr. Drew, Lori Marchell, Marie Bacchus from the IBU, Local 10 Business Agent John Hughes, and all Local 10 members who helped pay part of the tab. A personalized cake with three “edible photos” honored the Drill Team’s 83-year-old leader.

Further honors came later in the evening when Drill Team members presented their leader with a certificate of appreciation, a large plaque and bestowed him with a new title – elevating the former “Captain” to “General” Josh Williams.

Williams, who rarely speaks at great length, said he was truly touched by all the honors and recognition. He thanked everyone

Party with a purpose: Local 10’s Drill Team and friends celebrated the group’s 50 years of solidarity and union culture.

for their generosity, then broke out with a special rendition of his “7th Street Song” that celebrates African American history in San Francisco; recalling life in the City’s Fillmore neighborhood, where barbeque and jazz joints flourished after the Second World War – along with a host of colorful street characters who are mostly now gone. When Williams finished his song, he was followed by more performers from the Drill Team ranks, including Janice Smith and Paul from ‘da Hall.

As the long night of celebrating drew to a close, Williams was treated to a complimentary night in a nearby hotel, which spared him a late night drive across the Bay Bridge to his San Francisco home.

 

“I’m ready to have one of these younger people take over at some point,” said the General, “but I’ve still

got more time until they’re ready to step up.

Categories: Unions

France: Strikes Threaten to ‘Shut Down’ the Country

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Inquisitr
Categories: Labor News

California & Oregon members join final push for Bernie in Presidential primaries

ILWU - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 11:06

Portland Bernie rally caption Stumping for Sanders: (L to R) ILWU International President Robert McEllrath, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), ILWU International Vice President (Hawaii) Wesley Furtado, Local 8 member Jeff Smith, and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR). Photo by Dawn Des Brisay

Big rally in Portland

Bernie Sanders’ decisive May 17 primary victory in Oregon was preceded by a May 3rd rally in Portland’s Shemanski Park that attracted more than 750 union members and community supporters. The rally was initially planned by Local 8 member Jeff Smith to be held at the Local 8 hall but moved it to the park because of growing interest and the bigger crowd that came to the event.

ILWU officers attended the rally including ILWU International President Robert McEllrath, ILWU International Vice President (Hawaii) Wesley Furtado and President Alan Coté of the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU).

Union solidarity

Unions represented at the rally included, the ILWU, the IBU, Communications Workers of America, Amalgamated Transit Union, the National Nurses United and the Postal Workers Union.

Political leadership

Bernie Sanders was not able to appear at the rally, but Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) spoke at the event. They highlighted issues that have mobilized millions of Americans to support the Sanders campaign: opposition to so-called “free trade” deals like NAFTA, CAFTA and the TPP that have devastated workers, ending mass incarceration of poor people and people of color, climate change, the lack of Wall Street regulations and a campaign finance system that leaves working people virtually voiceless in the political process.

Vice President Furtado introduced Congresswoman Gabbard at the event. He thanked her for the strong support she has given the ILWU in Hawaii and for her commitment to the working men and women of Hawaii.

Smith said there was a strong turnout from ILWU members at the event, including people who traveled from Seattle and the Bay Area to attend.

Sanders’ overwhelming support in Oregon was confirmed when he scored a 12-point victory margin on Election Day – and set the stage for a showdown in California’s June 7 primary.

So Cal Organizes

Southern California ILWU Locals geared-up for their final month of outreach and educational work before the June 7 primary election with a campaign kickoff event for ILWU volunteers on May 5 that was attended by 100 volunteers, including members, pensioners, and family – plus community leaders and special guests from other unions.

Southern California Pensioners Group President Greg Mitre served as Master of Ceremonies. He was joined by SCDC President Cathy Familathe of Local 63, SCDC Legislative Representative Floyd Bryan of Local 13, and former ILWU International President David Arian, who now serves on the Port Commission.

“We have four weeks to contact and educate ILWU members about Bernie Sanders before the election,” said Greg Mitre on May 5. “We need to make sure everyone we know is informed and registered to vote.”

On May 17, Bernie came to the Stub Hub Center in Carson where an estimated 20,000 supporters filled the stadium for a supercharged evening rally. Local 13 President Bobby Olvera, Jr., joined other ILWU officers and members who attended the big event.

“The diversity of the crowd showed his support crosses racial, gender and socioeconomic lines,” said Olvera, Jr. “He reminded us that a great country requires dignity and security for all our citizens – not just luxuries for the one percent and corporations.”

Nor Cal Outreach

ILWU Local 6 is serving as a hub for the Northern California District Council’s outreach effort. A mobilization on Saturday, May 21 sent volunteers out to Bay Area neighborhoods where they contacted ILWU members about Bernie Sanders.

Bernie’s CA buzz

On May 18, Bernie Sanders appeared at three Northern California locations, beginning in San Jose where he was met by a large crowd that included many union members. In the afternoon, he joined a rally in downtown San Francisco to support hundreds of hotel workers and custodians.

“We need to grow the unions in our country so that workers can negotiate fair contracts, fair wages, and fair working conditions,” Sanders told more than 1,000 supporters who jammed downtown streets in the financial district. Among those marching in San Francisco were members of Local 6 and Local 10.

The day concluded with an early evening rally at Waterfront Park in Vallejo, a working-class community that’s been hit hard by foreclosures and personal bankruptcies caused by the Wall Street financial crisis. Members of Local 6 and 10 attended the event that attracted more than 10,000 supporters who came on short notice.

“The crowd was impressive and peaceful,” said ILWU Coast Benefits Specialist= and Local 10 member John Castanho. “He hit all the issues that ILWU members care about.”

The June issue of The Dispatcher will include analysis of the California Primary and next steps in the Presidential campaign.

Categories: Unions

Korea Family marks sad birthday of son lost in work-related subway accident

Current News - Wed, 06/01/2016 - 17:23

Korea Family marks sad birthday of son lost in work-related subway accident
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/746005.html
Posted on : May.30,2016 17:43 KSTModified on : May.30,2016 17:43 KST

<146459390113_20160531.JPG>
The contents of the backpack carried by a 19-year-old repair worker surnamed Kim who was crushed between a subway train and a sliding door on the platform, including tools and ramen instant noodles. (provided by Kim’s family)
19-year-old was part of small team tasked with repairing sliding doors at 49 subway stations
“Today is my son’s birthday. My family was supposed to get together yesterday to celebrate it,” the man said before stopping, unable to go on. Surnamed Kim, the 50-year-old met the Hankyoreh at the Konkuk University Medical Center on May 29, where his son’s body is currently resting.
On the afternoon of May 28, the day before, Kim‘s 19-year-old son was crushed between a subway train and a sliding door on the platform. The younger Kim had been working on a malfunctioning sliding door at Guui Subway Station in Seoul and had been unable to get out of the way when the train neared the platform.
Last October, during his third year of high school, the younger Kim got a job at Eunseong PSD, a company that provides maintenance and repairs for the sliding doors at subway stations. He had been upset about how long it had taken to find work, his father recalled. “My son was so happy when he got that job,” he said.
But after Kim started his new job, every day at work was exhausting. Eunseong PSD is a subcontractor for Seoul Metro (the company that operates lines 1 through 4 of the Seoul subway system), and it handles maintenance and repairs for sliding doors in 97 of the 121 Seoul Metro stations in which such doors have been installed.
On the job, Kim belonged to a team of fewer than 10 workers who were reportedly responsible for 49 stations. “My son said there weren’t enough workers and there were always more places to repair so he wouldn‘t even have time to eat,” his grieving mother said.
<146459403716_20160531.JPG>
Emergency crews work to save a 19-year-old repair workers surnamed Kim who died when he was crushed between a subway train and a sliding door on the platform at Guui Station in Seoul, May 28. (provided by Gwangjin Fire Station)  
At the time of the accident, Kim’s backpack contained work tools including a wrench, a wire cutter, screwdriver, writing supplies, a stainless steel spoon, disposable wooden chopsticks and a cup of instant ramen.
“My son said he would often order some food only to get a call and not be able to eat it. It looks like he brought some ramen with him because he thought he might have to skip his meal on the day of the accident, too,” Kim’s father said.
According to sources at the company and in the labor union, at the time of the accident, the six workers in the work unit to which Kim was assigned were in charge of repairing sliding doors at 49 subway stations.
The company’s system was for two of the workers to wait at the office - one monitor the situation and another as a backup - and for the other four to wait inside the subway until they were sent out on a work call. Seoul Metro explained that the sliding doors malfunction 30 times a day on average, and sometimes as many as 40 or 50 times.
“The glitches tend to happen when there are a lot of people on the subway, so there aren’t always enough workers. That was the situation when the accident happened,” said a source at the company.
Because of the shortage of workers, safety regulations were not being followed.
In Jan. 2013, an employee with the same company was crushed by a subway train while inspecting a sliding door at Seongsu Station on subway line 2 in the Seongdong District of Seoul. After this fatal accident, Seoul Metro created safety regulations stating that employees who were working on or inspecting the tracks had to work in two-person teams. But Kim was inspecting the sliding door on his own when disaster struck.
During a press briefing, Seoul Metro claimed that Kim had been negligent on the job. “When doing work on the platform, technicians are supposed to notify the electronic operations room and the station office about their work, but Kim omitted this step,” the company said.
The company explained that employees of repair companies that are dispatched to the site of a malfunction are supposed to inform the station office of the electronic operations room that they are beginning work, but that Kim had failed to do this.
There were three subway employees at Guui Station at the time of the accident, but for about an hour they were in the dark about the sliding door glitch and the accident. Needless to say, the employees were unable to take any safety measures such as ensuring that the work was being done by a two-person team.
The police, the Eastern Seoul District Office of the Ministry of Employment and Labor and the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency are planning to conduct a joint investment into the accident.
Even though Kim was off duty on May 23, he still attended a rally in front of the main office of Seoul Metro in the Seocho District of Seoul demanding that the subsidiary hire on all of its subcontractor workers, Kim’s mother said with tears in her eyes.
“My son put up with everything at work with the one hope that he would become the employee of a public company. When my son gave some pocket money to his younger sibling because it was payday as he was going off to work, I had no idea it was the last time I would see him,” Kim’s mother said.
By Lee Jae-uk and Bang Jun-hon, staff reporters

Tags: Korea health and safetyrailway death
Categories: Labor News

Chile: Workers and Students Strike, March for Labor Rights

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 06/01/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: TeleSUR
Categories: Labor News

France: Union workers at French nuclear plants vote to join strikes

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 06/01/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: France24
Categories: Labor News

Uzbekistan: Forced Cotton-Picking Earns Shameful Spot In ‘Slavery Index’

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 06/01/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: RFE/Radio Liberty
Categories: Labor News

 Coast Longshore Division Caucus convenes for historic meeting in Panama

ILWU - Wed, 06/01/2016 - 15:25

The Coast Longshore Division Caucus convened from April 18-22 in Panama City, Panama. This historic meeting was the first Longshore Caucus to meet outside of the United States or Canada. More than 100 caucus delegates, fraternal delegates, and pensioners attended the Caucus.

“The Panama Canal Division is an important part of the ILWU family. We are here to show our support for the workers in this new division,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath.

The Panama Canal Division was formed by a unanimous motion at the 2012 ILWU Convention. Discussions about the possible affiliation began in 2002 when International Vice President Ray Familathe explored the issue. In 2010, President McEllrath and Vice President Familathe began talking about formal affiliation with Londor Rankin, General-Secretary of the Panama Canal Pilots Union.

Today, the Panama Canal Division includes 250 members of the Panama Canal Pilots and 2,580 dock workers from SINTRAPORSPA, the Union of Dockworkers in the Ports of Balboa and Cristobal.

Warm welcome

On the first day of the Caucus, General-Secretary Rankin of the Panama Canal Division welcomed the delegates to Panama. Rankin introduced the vocal group “The Three Divas” who sang acapella versions of the Panamanian and American national anthems.

“We gather here to strengthen the strategic alliance between our unions and to send a loud and clear message to our counterparts that we continue to be united and grow stronger regardless of our nationality,” said Rankin. “We know we are not alone in the struggle to improve the wages and conditions for all of our members. We are proud to be among you, and we are honored that you have chosen Panama as the place for your Caucus.”

Several Panamanian media outlets published articles about the historical significance of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division’s first Caucus in Panama. The publication, Panama On reported in Spanish, and the translation is: “This meeting, which is the first to take place in Panama, aims to reaffirm the existing strategic alliance between these two unions, which is mainly based on the noble principle of international solidarity, which has come in handy in the struggles of workers around the world, in this case, in the maritime port sector.”

Later that night, the Panama Canal Pilots hosted a dinner for the delegates at their union hall, where caucus delegates had an opportunity to meet with members of the Panama Canal Division. Later in the week, the Panama Canal Pilots hosted a dinner at the Miraflores Locks, demonstrating the 103-yearold lock operations viewable from an outdoor deck reserved for ILWU Coast Longshore Division guests.

Caucus dedications

The Caucus was dedicated in the memory of a number of individuals who have recently passed including Ralph Rooker (Local 10-retired), Hugh Hunter (Local 13-retired), Jesus Puga (Local 13-retired), Gordon Neely (Local 19), Robert Stevens (Local 19), Dale Martinis (Local 19), Jarrett Van Curen (Local 19), Richard Cavalli (Local 34-retired), Emile Lewis (Local 34), Donja Grant (Local 34), Jim Crest (Local 40-retired), Bill Hallet (Local 63), Anthony Harris, Jr. (Local 63), Domenick Miretti (Local 63-retired), John Vlaic (Local 94-retired), William Kendall (Local 98), and Oliver Pickford (Local 98-retired).

Safety, technology, training, and political action

The Caucus dealt with a range of issues facing the industry and union members, including the impact of megaships on port congestion and port infrastructure, automation, registration, safety, training, contract administration and jurisdiction. As election season heats up for the US presidential and congressional races, political action was also a high priority for the Caucus. A resolution was passed to motivate members to contribute to the ILWU’s Political Action

Fund, and money was allocated for the 2016 Political Action Program. PMA’s contract extension request In March 2016, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) sent President McEllrath a request to discuss an extension of the 2014-2019 Longshore Contract. President McEllrath submitted this request to the ILWU Coast Longshore Division Caucus and the issue was discussed. In keeping with the ILWU Coast Longshore Division’s democratic process, the Caucus has submitted the matter to the membership for review and input before taking any official action.

ILWU send off

The Caucus honored ILWU Canada President Mark Gordienko, who is retiring at the end of his current term. The Caucus also paid tribute to Southern California Coast Director and ADRP Representative Jackie Cummings, who is also retiring.

SINTRAPORSPA members visit

Alberto Ochoa, Secretary General of SINTRAPORSPA, which represents more than 2,580 longshore workers in the Port of Balboa in Panama and is affiliated with the Panama Canal Division, spoke at the Caucus. “We are grateful to you because you played a key role in the organization of SINTRAPORSPA,” Ochoa said.

In keeping with the tradition of warm Latin American greetings, Ochoa said he brought a “fraternal hug” for all in attendance and said, “We are honored that you chose to have this meeting in Panama.”

 

Categories: Unions

Belgian public sector goes on strike in run-up to French rail walkout

Current News - Wed, 06/01/2016 - 08:07

Belgian public sector goes on strike in run-up to French rail walkout
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/06/01/belg-j01.html
By Ross Mitchell and Alex Lantier
1 June 2016
Public sector workers in Belgium organised in a 24-hour national strike Tuesday, as French rail workers began indefinite strike action yesterday evening. Workers are mobilising across national borders in Europe against the reactionary austerity policies that the entire European Union (EU) has imposed on workers since the 2008 financial crisis.
While French workers are mobilising in struggle against the Socialist Party’s (PS) regressive labour law, the right-wing government of Belgian prime minister Charles Michel intends to impose welfare cuts and budget cuts in public service and education as well as to raise the pension age. The Belgian government’s aim is to make it easier for employers to hire part-time workers on short-term, part-time contracts with less security. Its proposed laws introduce a 45-hour workweek and impose overtime without extra pay.
The Belgian strike was called by several trade unions, including the General Confederation for Public Services (CGSP); it coincided with a train drivers stoppage that entering its sixth day. Belgian train drivers are opposing cuts in overtime pay.
The whole Belgian public sector was heavily disrupted due to strike action taken by workers in the health sector, public transport, postal services, fire service, education and other areas. Operations of the state-run SNCB (National Railway Company of Belgium) were paralysed in the Francophone areas, while in Flanders only 50 percent of trains were servicing their lines. Some services to Paris and German cities were delayed or cancelled.
Mainline trains and buses in Brussels and the French-speaking region of Wallonia were paralysed. In the capital, Brussels, metro lines, trams and buses were affected for the second time in a week, while rubbish went uncollected.
In other towns and cities, metro and tram networks were also halted. In Charleroi, a city with a long history of working class struggle dating back more than a century and a half, workers voted not to allow trains, buses or trams to run.
At 9 a.m., striking workers gathered to demonstrate in Brussels, after a protest of at least 60,000 people in that city on May 24. The Confederation of Christian Trade Unions claimed 12,000 marched in Brussels. A self-made banner floating along the marching crowds in Brussels read, “No more of our sacrifices for your privileges.” Others read, “Fighting for our rights.”
Other marches took place nationwide with 1,000 protesting in Ghent, 350 in Namur, 400 in Wavre and 1,500 in Mons. Wavre is the location of Prime Minister Michel’s residence. During the strike, it was protected by a heavy security and police cordon.
On Monday, three Flemish unions and one Francophone union reached agreement with Belgium’s justice minister, Koen Geens, in an attempt to end a five-week strike of prison officers. Geens pledged Monday to hire more prison officers, after which the unions ended their participation in the strike. Two other unions are yet to settle.
Commenting on the duration of the rail strike, the Le Soir newspaper commented, “This is unseen since the last general strike of 1986.”
While the ruling elite is deeply concerned at the escalating militancy in the working class internationally, and in particular in both Belgium and France, it is also well aware that the trade union bureaucracy is an ally against the workers.
The Belgian trade unions called on their members sector by sector to participate in the strike. They did not issue a call to mobilise workers across the whole public sector. Teachers were allowed to strike, but the Belgian teachers union did not mobilise its members. Trade unions in the airport industry did not call on their members to join the general strike, though workers joined the movement on an individual basis without affecting business operations. Airports in Brussels and in the country were not affected by the strike.
Le Soir cited the comments of journalist Bernard Demonty, who stated, “Not a single trade union movement made any government step down from power” in Belgian history. The article continues, “To make the government fall [Demonty says], one needs a general strike to the end. This cannot be so, for the trade unions are divided and not determined for it.”
In France, rail workers will be joined by airline workers and pilots on strike in the coming days. At the same time, six of the country’s eight oil refineries remain on strike, with 20 percent of French gas stations running out of gas. Refuse workers have launched strikes and blockades of facilities in Paris and St. Etienne.
Pilots from France’s National Union of Airline Pilots (SNPL) voted for long-term strike action on Monday, as they face a substantial pay cut after the SNPL sold out their strike at the end of 2014.
French officials tried to minimise the scope of the strike, with Transport Minister Alain Vidalies declaring, “Of course the movement will be serious, but it won’t have the scope one might expect.” Nonetheless, the rail strike clearly will have a significant impact, shutting down most lines on Paris’s express regional transit system as well as many long-distance high-speed trains and intercity trains.
Large sections of the French trade union bureaucracy are hostile to the strike. The pro-Socialist Party (PS) French Democratic Labour Confederation (CFDT) cancelled its strike call yesterday, on the pretext that the François Hollande government had made concessions.
In the meantime, ruling circles in France are trying to whip up hysteria and public anger against the strikers. The most virulent comments came from Pierre Gattaz (CEO of Radiall), the leader of the Movement of French Enterprises (Medef), the largest employer federation, who denounced strikers as “terrorists.”
Gattaz said, “Making people respect the rule of law means ensuring that minorities that behave like hoodlums, like terrorists, will not blockade the entire country. ... When the [General Confederation of Labour, CGT] prevents newspapers from appearing because they refused to publish [CGT General Secretary Philippe] Martinez’s tract, it seems to me we are in a Stalinist dictatorship.”

Tags: Belgium rail strikeCGT
Categories: Labor News

Scabs Wearing Badges: Police help Lisbon port move cargo amid dock workers’ strike

Current News - Tue, 05/31/2016 - 23:49

Scabs Wearing Badges: Police help Lisbon port move cargo amid dock workers’ strike
http://ojornal.com/portuguese-brazilian-news/2016/05/police-help-lisbon-...
ASSOCIATED PRESS ON MAY 24, 2016 IN PORTUGUESE WORLD
LUSA photo. Riot police guard the entrance of the port of Lisbon in Alcântara and hold back striking dock workers while port operators remove ship containers stranded for several weeks by the walkout over pay and labor rights.
LISBON, Portugal (AP) – Riot police have held back striking Lisbon dock workers while port operators remove ship containers stranded for several weeks by the walkout over pay and labor rights.
Dozens of striking stevedores gathered outside gates at Lisbon’s port Tuesdayand shouted at what they said were strike-breakers helping to load the containers on trucks.
The dock workers and shipping companies operating at the port failed to break the deadlock in their latest talks on Friday, and seven companies said would begin lay-offs to compensate for lost income. The companies say they have lost around 10 million euros ($11 million) so far due to the strike.
The Stevedores’ Union is demanding greater job security and automatic promotions every three years, as well as higher pay. Union leaders said the strike would continue.

Tags: Lisbon docksPolicescabs
Categories: Labor News

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