Italian Port Workers Launch Nation-Wide Strike

Workers across Italian ports launched a 24-hour strike on May 11, voicing their dissatisfaction over the lack of lashing legislation enforcement and poor safety in Italian ports.

The strike is lead by unions FILT CGIL, Fit Cisl and Uiltrasporti Nazionale, affiliates of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and Dockers’ division of the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF). In line with the latest International Bargaining Forum (IBF) framework agreement reached between the ITF and Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) in February, only dockworkers have the exclusive rights to carry out lashing and other cargo handling services in ports. However, Italian workers say the country’s government has failed to enforce this regulation, resulting in job security risks for the workers. Namely, instead of entrusting the work to port workers, shipping companies encharge the members of the crew to carry out the lashing work, which is extremely dangerous as they not trained to perform the job.

The one-day strike follows two-hour nation-wide strikes staged as a sign of warning over the recent workplace safety situation in April 2018. Unions are urging for safety at ports to be upgraded after a number of workplace fatalities occurring this year. In addition, workers are also opposing the automation of port operations in Italian ports. ETF told World Maritime News that all ports in Italy are affected and that vessels are delayed accordingly.

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