Pakistani unions join international push against injustice at ICTSI ports

On Monday, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Transport Workers (ATUTW) Pakistan marched from the Karachi Port to the Karachi Press Club, expressing solidarity, and vowing to raise their voices against the exploitation of the dock workers at International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTS) ports in Madagascar and Indonesia.

Addressing the rally, senior labour leader and representative of the Alliance, Abudl Razzaq Memon said, “We – under the banner of ITF and our workers’ alliance – express our solidarity with the dock workers of Madagascar and Indonesia and we warn the ICTSI management to end their exploitation of workers."

The Alliance called on ICTSI to meet the dockers' demands in Madagascar and Indonesia, and reinstate the 43 workers fired in Madagascar for exercising their legitimate labour rights.

Adam Panjiri, union leader of Seafarers Union of Pakistan, said that the exploitation of the dock workers was intolerable, deploring the conditions of workers in Madagascar who are being paid as little as $40 per month.

The protesters carried banners to mark the 9th of October as a day of solidarity with Madagascan and Indonesian dock workers. ATUTW also vowed to consolidate their strength under the ITF, to further the struggle for workers in the future.

The protest forms part of a global week of lawful actions organised by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) within ICTSI’s global terminals and shipping routes across Asia, Africa and Europe, in a renewed international push against injustice in response to a report released Monday.

The report, ICTSI’S global expansion: a risky proposition?, shows an emerging pattern of labour rights violations throughout ICTSI’s global terminal network.

The member trade unions of the ATUTW Pakistan include: KPT Democratic Workers Union, Pakistan Seamen's Union, KDLB Democratic Workers Union, Railways Workers Unions, PIA Workers Union and Workers Union Railways.