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What we do

ITF’s global role in securing dockers’ rights.

The ITF dockers’ section is made up of 221 affiliated unions, representing 350,000 port workers worldwide. It fights for a safe workplace and fair treatment of all dockers. The ITF believes that every worker has the right to join a union to help them protect their rights at work.

For more about the vital role of dockers’ unions and how we’re working with them across the world, watch our video

Union rights are under threat

The fight for trade union rights is often an essential part of ITF organising campaigns. In many countries’ ports, trade unions are not recognised and even attempting to organise is difficult and dangerous for those involved. The ITF backs union members in their fight to establish recognised, representative unions in their workplaces.

Have your members been dismissed or threatened for organising or other trade union activities? Contact

The ITF dockers’ section

The section’s priorities are to fight for acceptable labour and safety standards.

Our affiliates are unions that are:

  • organising those directly involved in cargo handling
  • indirectly involved in cargo activities (such as those with members employed by port managers, agencies and freight forwarders)
  • representing workers employed by the state, city or other authority, as well as by private companies in permanent or other employment

Find out more about the section committee and campaign team

The global network terminals (GNT) campaign

The GNT campaign aims to target the four biggest global network terminal operators, setting minimum industry standards on health and safety, trade union rights, job security and other issues that affect dock workers. The big four are Dubai Ports World (DPW), AP Moeller Maersk (APMT), Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) and Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH).

Join the GNT network and find out how dockers working for these companies are organising themselves.

Find out more about our worldwide global network terminals campaign.

Get in touch

Contact the ITF docker's team at