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Agreement marks new era for dockers in Morocco

Agreement marks new era for dockers in Morocco

‘Dynamic economic and social objectives’ are the aim of a new collective bargaining agreement just made between an ITF-affiliated union in the Port of Tangiers, Morocco and global network terminal operator APM Terminals (APMT).

The agreement follows two years of ‘difficult’ negotiations between the Moroccan National Union of Port Workers and the local APMT management, accompanied by an international campaign supported by ITF dockers’ unions worldwide.

ITF Arab World regional secretary Bilal Malkawi welcomed the news as a new era for industrial relations in the Port of Tangiers saying: “This agreement hasn’t been easily won, there has been a long struggle leading up to this point. The union has fought hard during negotiations and the result is a positive one. We hope this is a signal of a new way forward for relations between the union and management.

“This is an opportunity for all parties to be transparent and open and fair. That kind of approach is good for business, good for customers and good for workers. Everybody wins.” 

The agreement lays out a commitment to social dialogue from both sides and respect for trade union rights and labour laws. Other stipulations include time and pay to participate in union activities and improvements around working conditions, health and safety, wages and training and promotion systems.

Said El Hairech is general secretary of the Moroccan National Union of Port Workers, part of the national UMT trade union centre (Union des Syndicats UMT des Transports). He was previously wrongly imprisoned for charges linked to his trade union activities and was only freed following a groundswell of support from dockers’ unions worldwide. He commented: “This CBA embodies what we want, dynamic economic and social objectives. Moving forward we need to establish controls and good governance for social dialogue and the respect of sector standards. The union and management are working towards a common goal here: ambitious economic expansion in the framework of a common perspective on social responsibility.

“Our members have stayed strong throughout this struggle, but we wouldn’t be celebrating the success we are today without the support of the UMT, the ITF, particularly the Arab World office, and the support of hundreds of dockers’ unions. They’ve all contributed to this victory.”  

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