Tim Vancampen, CEO of the embattled Philippines-owned company’s operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was given a fierce reception when he presented to a maritime industry conference in Durban on 5 December.
There was widespread media coverage as protestors from worker and community organisations – led by the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) – demonstrated over their concerns about labour abuses, poor safety standards and sloppy management practices in ICTSI’s global network.
Edgar Mbina, SATAWU regional secretary, 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, Papua New Guinea and 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, an ITF report on ICTSI’s global expansion detailed the emerging pattern of labour violations across ICTSI’s terminals, including paying poverty wages, poor safety standards endangering workers lives.
The same month, ITF unions protested in 14 locations relating to ICTSI’s operations spanning Africa, Europe and Asia.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin commented that ICTSI’s rapid expansion had not been accompanied by sufficient managerial oversight to ensure productive industrial relations and compliance with local laws. He added that the company needed to sit down with the ITF and work out how to resolve these issues throughout their network.