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ICTSI “not welcome in Africa”

Global port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) is facing continued resistance to their Africa expansion plans, with the Philippines-owned company again the target of demonstrations, this time in Durban, South Africa.

A maritime industry conference featuring a speaker from the embattled ports company will be hit by protest action from worker and community organisations in South Africa who are concerned about labour abuses in ICTSI’s global network.

The port operator has attracted international condemnation in recent months over emerging patterns of labour violations, poor safety standards, and sloppy management practices.

Tim Vancampen, CEO from ICTSI’s DRC operation, will be given a fierce reception when he presents to the conference at 11:45 AM local time today.

The demonstration is being led by the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

Edgar Mbina, Regional Secretary of SATAWU, said: “We are here to send a message to ICTSI that their business model of poor safety and undercutting conditions is not welcome in Africa. We stand with workers in Madagascar, workers in Papua New Guinea, and workers around the world who are fighting for jobs and decent conditions. Wherever ICTSI chooses to expand, we’ll be there, standing with those workers, fighting for justice and decent treatment.”

In October 2017, a report on ICTSI’s expansion, ‘ICTSI’s global expansion: a risky proposition?’ (https://goo.gl/UfZgyv), detailed the emerging pattern of labour violations across ICTSI’s terminals, including paying poverty wages, poor safety standards endangering workers lives, and illegally out-sourcing jobs to labour-hire companies. The report, authored by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), demonstrates that ICTSI has a problem with governance.

ITF President Paddy Crumlin said: “ICTSI has a problem. Their rapid expansion has not been accompanied by sufficient managerial oversight to ensure productive industrial relations and compliance with local laws. We’ve seen this in port after port, country after country. 

In October, ICTSI was hit by lawful demonstrations and actions worldwide in a renewed international push against injustice in the company's global terminal network. ITF affiliate unions held protest actions across 14 locations spanning Africa, Europe and Asia, directly targeting existing ICTSI ports, ports where ICTSI is seeking to expand, and ports that share critical shipping connections with ICTSI ports.

“These latest demonstrations send a message to governments and investors thinking of partnering with this company,” Paddy Crumlin said.

“ICTSI needs to sit down with the ITF and work out how we can resolve these issues throughout their network.

“The ITF, and our unions, are committed to supporting port operators who provide good jobs and good industrial relations practices in their ports.”



International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) is a Philippines-based container terminal operator, which operates 30 container terminals globally. In recent years ICTSI has engaged in an ambitious international expansion program.

The TOC-Africa conference is a meeting of container terminal operators and their suppliers, and is being held at the International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa.

For more information, please contact:

Luke Menzies, ITF Asia Pacific Campaign Centre, Sydney, Australia.
T: +61 433 889 844 | E: mediasydney@itf.org.uk

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