The International Longshoremen’s Association union (ILA) have this week started indefinite strike action at State Pier, New London, Connecticut due to Ørsted’s refusal to recognize the ILA’s jurisdiction of loading and unloading cargo at the port.
Ørsted’s turbine parts are scheduled to be shipped this week from State Pier to Ørsted’s South Fork Wind farm off the coast of Long Island.
The ILA, along with their employer Gateway, have worked tirelessly to resolve the issue, however Ørsted US continues to reject all proposals put to them to resolve the dispute.
Ørsted are ignoring the ILA longshore workers who are fighting to retain the work jurisdiction they have been performing for over 100 years, and which is the same work performed by dockers in other offshore ports in the US, and severed communications with the ILA and ITF.
As part of a global day of action against Ørsted in September, over 215 unions from 100 countries signed an open letter to Mads Nipper, Group President and CEO of Ørsted, calling on him to directly intervene and resolve the issues between Ørsted US and US maritime unions.
However, having severed all communication with the ITF and ILA, Ørsted has refused to negotiate an agreement with the union.
ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton said: ‘Ørsted US is effectively trying to pit union against union. The ITF stand in unwavering support of the ILA, and would encourage Ørsted to work with us to negotiate a settlement to the dispute. There needs to be a solution which includes construction, longshore and shipping workers’ unions. There are more projects along the whole eastern seaboard and so this strike can be resolved as part of a bigger solution, with the right unions.’
ITF president and chair of ITF’ Dockers’ Section Paddy Crumlin said: ‘The message we are sending to Ørsted is twofold: we cannot and will not tolerate any company coming into our ports and reassigning traditional longshore work to nonmaritime unions; and, Ørsted A/S must intervene to ensure we can continue to strengthen our international relationship and not have it damaged in this dispute because Ørsted US has proven they are not committed to it or do not understand the importance of it.’
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About the ITF: The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is a democratic, affiliate-led federation recognised as the world’s leading transport authority. We fight passionately to improve working lives; connecting trade unions from 147 countries to secure rights, equality and justice for their members. We are the voice for nearly 20 million working women and men in the transport industry across the world.