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Norway dockers fight for collective bargaining agreement at global network terminal
8 November 2012
Unionists in Norway are fighting for a local agreement with their global network terminal (GNT) operator employer APMT.
Members of the ITF-affiliated Norwegian Transport Federation (NTF), based in Oslo container terminal , the largest in Norway, are demanding a local collective agreement. A national agreement covering dockworkers across the country has been in place for over 30 years, but APMT is refusing to sign up to it. It is the only company in Oslo port that is not a member of the employers’ association, which is involved in negotiations towards the national settlement.
Since the company first took over the terminal’s operations two years ago, it has been attempting to downgrade workers’ pay and benefits. It has also been using unqualified terminal workers to unload ships, which is in breach of International Labour Organization convention 137 on dock work. The NTF is investigating these incidences.
In addition, APMT has announced plans to extend the Oslo terminal and to open a new operation in 2015. The dockers believe this could further undermine the national agreement and have voiced their opposition to any APMT attempts to establish a non-unionised terminal in Norway.
Determined to protect their own hard-won union representation, the NTF submitted on 5 November a demand that APMT settle on a local collective bargaining agreement that matches the terms and conditions of the national agreement. By law, the company must respond within a month.
The ITF is backing the NTF’s fight for a union agreement and is urging affiliates to send messages of solidarity to the union at email@example.com.
Visit the ITF’s GNT website for more information on achieving acceptable standards for dockers in GNT ports around the world.
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