SATAWU picket against worker rights violations at Durban ICC
South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) members with support from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) have braved the rain to picket outside the Durban ICC as part of a sustained international campaign against stevedoring multinational, International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI).
Today’s picket is in solidarity with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which has been leading a sustained campaign against ICTSI with support from its affiliates in different countries. In October this year, ITF released a report revealing a pattern by ICTSI of paying poverty wages; failing to respect workers’ right to freedom of association; poor safety standards that put workers’ lives at risk; and illegally outsourcing jobs to labour brokers throughout its global network.
In 2012, ICTSI in Madagascar’s Port of Toamasina dismissed 43 dockworkers for joining a union. To date ICTSI has refused to reinstate the workers despite a court ruling ordering it to do so. Despite this, ICTSI has grown ambitiously over the past decade and now operates some 30 container terminals globally including in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Tim Vancampen, ICTSI Managing Director DR Congo is one of the speakers at the TOC-Africa Conference at the Durban ICC today and SATAWU’s picket is set to coincide with his speech.
ICTSI appears to have ambitions to set up operations in South Africa and has already secured office space in Cape Town. However, SATAWU wants the multinational to know that in this country we have zero tolerance for worker rights violations and should they succeed in setting up operations here, we will fight them at every turn to ensure they do not exploit workers.
SATAWU members will picket from 11.30am to 1.30pm today 5 December.