Inside Ceo Officce 2
Workers protested at the office of the CEO

Poland’s largest container terminal bans dock union organisers

The ITF is supporting Polish affiliate union Solidarnosc, after its organisers were banned from accessing the country’s fastest growing port terminal.

The ban at DCT Gdansk follows a protest by 30 dockers at the office of the CEO over the termination of a union leader’s employment contract last week.  

Union membership at the port is approaching 50 percent. Despite this, management has failed to address union concerns over a number of important issues including pay, contracts, meaningful negotiation, consultation and holidays. It has also brought in a legal firm to handle negotiations with the union over a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) rather than dealing with the process directly.

DCT Gdansk recently secured loans of EUR290 million to expand its operations and plans to employ 1,500 workers to meet the growing demand for deep-sea services in Central-Eastern Europe. Some of this borrowing is secured through the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). ITF representatives are in dialogue with the bank over its performance requirement for clients, which stipulates that they will not discourage workers from forming or joining workers’ organisations of their choosing or bargaining collectively, and will not discriminate against workers who participate in such organisations.

ITF president and chair of the ITF dockers’ section, Paddy Crumlin said: ”It looks like DCT Gdansk is trying to deploy every dirty trick in the book to avoid dealing openly with Solidarnosc. Its treatment of union members and leaders is deplorable and unacceptable. We expect to see a new CBA shortly. In the meantime we will continue our dialogue with the EBRD, step up pressure on the investment banking group Macquarie which owns DCT and raise this problem with customers and the international trade union community.”

ITF dockers’ section 2nd vice-chair Torben Seebold will meet with Polish union leaders in April to discuss providing international support to help their campaign.

Get more info on the situation at DCT Gdansk in English or Polish.

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