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Open Letter to Ørsted

09 Oct 2023

For over 100 years, the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) has represented workers in the port of New London, Connecticut. When the company Ørsted moved to do business in the United States, that all changed. Ørsted made many commitments to workers and has broken all its promises.

Because of Ørsted’s anti-union behaviour, dockers in New London have been frozen out of their jobs for up to three years. Ørsted has failed to deliver retraining for workers, they have failed to negotiate in good faith and they have failed to respect the workers and union members represented by the ILA.

Ørsted has even recently signed contracts with two anti-union shipping companies.

Maritime and transport unions have decided that enough is enough and have called for a day of action against Ørsted.

Call on Ørsted to end its union-busting tactics and sign the open letter.



To: Mads Nipper, Group President and CEO, Ørsted

Dear Mads Nipper,

We would like to thank you and Mr. Rasmus Skov for the continued dialogue between the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and our affiliates around the world. We, the undersigned unions, were pleased to hear the remarks you made when you addressed the ITF and International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) delegation in June, including Ørsted A/S’s commitment to labor unions and workers’ rights.

After that meeting, the ITF unions were optimistic that previous missteps taken by Ørsted US would be corrected. That has not happened.

We are writing today to express our concerns about the actions of Ørsted US, their treatment of the US maritime unions – both seafarers and dockers – which undermine and contradict both the statements you have personally made about labor rights and the company’s code of conduct.

As you are aware, the ILA and ITF met with Ørsted A/S and Ørsted US representatives on 13 June 2023, to resolve an ongoing dispute stemming from the disregard shown by Ørsted US for dockers in New London, Connecticut. At that meeting, it was agreed that Ørsted US would:

Negotiate with the ILA to reach a memorandum of understanding for New London and other ports the company plans to expand to.

Negotiate a training program for the ILA, akin to agreements they have already signed with other unions, including the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).

Negotiate with the ITF to reach an agreement for all ITF maritime unions in the United States, akin to the agreement signed with the Building and Construction Trades Unions.

To our disappointment, there has been no progress made on these commitments. Instead, the US maritime unions have been met with resistance from Ørsted US to engage in a constructive dialogue on what was agreed upon.

Unfortunately, this seems to be a continuation of Ørsted US’ modus operandi since the company entered the United States. While we acknowledge there were meetings with the maritime unions, the commitments made at those meetings by Ørsted US have proved nothing more than lip service.

In the meeting on 31 July 2023, between Ørsted US and ITF Seafarers’ affiliates, we were notified that Ørsted US signed twenty-year contracts with historically anti-union shipping companies – a direct violation of Ørsted’s Code of Conduct.

Ørsted US’ Chief Operating Officer and Labor Relations Manager have shown they are incapable of resolving the issues facing maritime labor. Further, we are disappointed by the lack of accountability from the parent company. We now call on you to engage directly with the US maritime unions, including resolving the issues with the ILA, to ensure that Ørsted lives up to its Code of Conduct.

Seafarers and dockers are vital to Ørsted’s supply chain and our members are ready and able to cooperate with you to ensure the smooth delivery and continued service of Ørsted’s offshore wind projects globally.

To that end, we also stand united in holding Ørsted accountable for its actions and for living up to its Code of Conduct in all countries it operates and throughout the company’s supply chain. We will not stand idly by as Ørsted US undermines standards on which Ørsted headquarters pride itself.

Yours sincerely,