At a conference last week in Chicago, delegates representing dock workers from around the world voted unanimously to support a resolution submitted by the Histadrut supporting the dock workers in Israel.
The conference, organized by the International Transport Workers Federation, took positions on a number of international disputes including the UK, USA and Australia and according to the press release issued by the ITF, “there were also emergency motions regarding support for port workers in Israel where the government has announced the establishment of two new ports”.
The resolution passed reads in full:
The ITF Dockers Conference that meets in Chicago on 8-9.7.13:
NOTES that on 3.7.13 the Israeli government announced through the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport the establishment of two new ports in Israel (one in Ashdod and the other in Haifa).
FURTHER NOTES that the announcement was made while sending defiant and threatening messages to the workers’ organization, without holding negotiations with the workers’ organization and without dealing with the devastating repercussions on the existing ports as a result of the establishment of new ports.
CONDEMNS the harsh remarks of the Minister of Economy before the announcement whether by threatening to bring the army into the ports or whether by publishing a post on his Facebook page in which he makes a horrible, despicable and inciting comparison of the port workers and the ants that need to be eliminated.
FURTHER CONDEMNS the incitement campaign that the Israeli government has held for a long time against the port workers in particular and against organized labor in general.
CALLS ON the Israeli government to take into account the implications for the existing ports and the workers as a result of the construction of new ports.
EXPRESSES deep concern that without regulating fair competition and equal conditions between the existing and new ports, providing flexibility in rates of the existing ports, and in general providing a financial and employment safety net to existing employees at the ports, there will be an economic collapse of the existing ports and layoffs of port workers.
Accordingly the ITF Dockers Conference:
SUPPORTS the just struggle of the Histadrut, the Transport Workers Union and the port workers in Israel.
DEMANDS from the Israeli government to stop the unilateral conduct of the Israeli government and calls on it to begin immediate and intensive negotiations with the Histadrut that represents the Transport Workers Union, which is affiliated with ITF, that represents inter alia the port workers in Israel.
ALSO DEMANDS from the Israeli government to immediately cease the wild incitement against the port workers.
FURTHER DEMANDS from the Israeli government to ensure the port workers’ rights regarding the port reform in Israel.
The International Transportworkers Federation has a long and proud history of working with Palestinian and Israeli trade union affiliates.