The groundbreaking agreement is the result of two years’ hard efforts by the FNTT and Mohamed Arrachedi, ITF Arab world network co-ordination. It covers the vessels Cheikh el Mokrani, Cheikh Bouamama and the Lalla Fatma N’Soumer, which are Algerian owned and fly the Bahamas flag. The unions hope that it will pave the way to more agreements with Hyproc.
FNTT general secretary Seddiq Barrama said: “This is to be considered the first Algerian union agreement that covers flag of convenience vessels. The negotiations somehow took a long time, but what is important is that we have achieved what we were aiming for. Thank you for everyone who was with us in this and to those who guided us to achieve this positive result. We are looking forward for other agreements in the near future."
Meanwhile, 21 union representatives from the hubs alliance of Algerian unions – which represents workers from the road, rail, dock, maritime, civil aviation and oil and gas sectors and followed intensive efforts by the ITF Arab World office and the ITF's industrial hubs programme team – took part in an ITF industrial hubs workshop from 15-16 March to agree next steps in building their hub. They focused on practical ways to building the alliance, improving leadership and communications, and organising women and young workers. Participants also discussed their training needs to achieve this.
The alliance was created in August 2016 as the second project in the ITF industrial hubs programme (the UK project was the first), which aims to build worker power through uniting unions and industrial sections that work along the same supply chains and are centred around the same geographical locations.
Adjabi Lazhari, head of the Algeria dockers federation, commented that the workshop was very important as it was the first step in creating a stronger alliance between sectoral unions. He said that through interaction and identifying training needs, unions would build the power of workers at local level and that this in turn would build power for all ITF federations and unions.
ITF Arab World regional secretary Bilal Malkawi added that the success of the work in Algeria had inspired other unions in the region, who have seen the organising campaign show such progress that they are following the good example and have been positively influenced by it. He concluded that the Algeria hubs alliance was a really good example to show not just regionally but globally as well.
For more on the ITF industrial hubs programme visit www.itfhubs.org.
Follow developments on ITF social media channels using @ITFglobalunion #OurHubs.