Konopka has been sacked from his role at the terminal after 6 years of fixed term contracts, ostensibly because he is a visible and active member of ITF affiliate union NSZZ Solidarnosc.
Despite the growth of the union, management has repeatedly failed to adequately address members’ concerns over important issues including temporary contracts, pay, holiday working and meaningful negotiation. It also brought in a legal firm to handle negotiations with the union over a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that has ground progress to a halt. Members have reported intimidation and threats of dismissal, while nine other union activists have been forced to leave in addition to Konopka.
DCT in Gdansk has secured multi million Euro loans to build a second terminal with plans to expand their number of employees from 500 to 1500. Meanwhile many of the existing workers are on temporary, rolling contracts.
ITF dockers’ section vice-chair Torben Seebold said: “Solidarnosc started organising in DCT in 2013 and membership is now around 70% of dockers. But as the union has grown, so has DCT’s resistance to them and that’s demonstrated in actions like the dismissal of Maciek Konopka.
“This campaign is about going to DCT management and board members like Australian fund management firm Macquarie, as well as shipping lines and customers, and saying-this culture of fear and intimidation and blatant union-busting can’t continue. Take action now to make sure Konopka is reinstated and that management comes to the table for good faith negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement to raise standards for workers.”