A delegation of union activists from around the world have attended the annual general meeting (AGM) of the National Express group to question the company about its anti-union activities in Morocco and ask why the good relations elsewhere are not being upheld.
Katie Finn and Jim Glimco (Teamsters, USA) reported to the AGM that the company has improved relations in North America by signing a memorandum of understanding with the union, but this progress was marred by recent actions in Morocco by Alsa, a National Express subsidiary.
In February, Alsa began a concerted campaign to persecute activists from the ITF-affiliated UMT union in Tangier. This included the dismissal of the general secretary of the UMT office of Alsa in Tangier, Jamal Al Sharfi, while several other workers were intimidated and offered bribes to leave the union.
The delegation at the AGM also included Jose Antonio Naranjo Burcio (CCOO, Spain), James Mitchell (Unite, UK) and Lauren Usher (ITF) who questioned the company regarding the disparity in treatment of workers in Morocco compared to workers in Europe and North America.
The activists spoke directly to National Express executives at the AGM in Birmingham, UK, and the company gave assurances that they want good relations with the UMT in Morocco and will help facilitate dialogue.