March 2019

Information on a planned Strike on March, 6th 2019 by the Dockworker Union

Svenska Hamnarbetarförbundet

The union writes in an appeal from March, 3rd 2019:

There is a principally important conflict in the country’s ports. After the employer organization Sveriges Hamnar drastically escalated the conflict with a lockout of the employees, which in practice means wage reduction as a combat measure, the Hamnarbetarförbundet has announced a total closure of work from March 6. The dockworkers‘ union wants to establish a collective agreement with the employer organization. An agreement where the union becomes a full party with the right to negotiate the members‘ terms locally and the right to choose a safety representative. It would be a so-called second agreement, with a worse legal position than the first agreement signed by the Transport Workers‘ Union. It is accepted by the dockers, but one does not want to have any further restrictions on their trade union rights in addition to the applicable case law. The dockworkers‘ union has been refused to sign collective agreements for almost five decades, since the union was formed, In April 2018, the situation became acute, as employers carried out a foreclosure policy which meant that all cooperation with the union was withdrawn. More than one hundred safety representatives have lost their mandates to work for safe workplaces. One is now worried that more serious accidents and, in the worst case, deaths will occur on the quays. Still, half of the country’s dock workers choose to remain members of the Harbor Workers‘ Union. It depends on the union’s organizational model, with extensive membership democracy. It is always the affected members who decide how the union should act in different situations. This applies to everything from local schedule negotiations to central decisions. After negotiations and mediation, the employer organization still refuses to sign a proper collective agreement. They want to add an appendix, where the union declines the opportunity to participate in negotiations on the members‘ everyday lives at workplaces. It would be unreasonable for any trade union to sign agreements on those premises. Having a collective agreement with several unions for the same work is not uncommon in the Swedish labor market. On the contrary, it is very common on the official’s side, and also occurs in the workers‘ profession. Of course it can be done even in the ports. The stevedore industry needs cooperation and long-term work. You cannot achieve this by in practice trying to force half of the country’s dockers to dismantle their trade union organization, but by releasing it as a full contract partner. The dock workers demand respect for the right to be represented in a democratic country by the union they choose. Contribute to the Harbor Workers‘ Conflicts Cash! Swish 123 132 1959 Bg 177-9750 Follow the development at and at the Hamnarbetarförbundet’s Facebook page

(based on Google Translation from Swedish)

February 2019

Solidarity with the Dockers of Astillero Rio Santiago shipyard – February, 19th 2019

International Harbour Worker Exchange of Experience
International Coordination Group
February 19, 2019.

To colleagues at the Astillero Rio Santiago shipyard

Dear colleagues,
we’ve heard of your struggle and strike actions starting in 2018. We express our full solidarity to you in the fight against the dismissal of 3000 workers. Your struggle has meaning far beyond the economic side – for workers‘ rights, for a life worth living, for life and work in dignity. In all this you fight resolutely against the reactionary policies of the Macri government and its
brutal use of police forces. We have great respect for the long tradition of your struggles, which successfully resisted the privatization plans in the 1990s.
It must be a fundamental concern of all dock workers, shipyard workers and transport workers worldwide that not a single fight and strike at the shipyards and ports remains alone. The power of the united and united working class is stronger than the exploitative rule of the capitalists. Let us not be divided into nations, skin colours, locations … High the international solidarity.
So far the International Exchange of Port Workers‘ Experience has brought together port workers and shipyard workers from Europe, above all from the Netherlands, Germany and Russia. We work in various trade unions and work there to ensure that these real fighting organisations are workers and employees for us! Meanwhile we have created a homepage – The harbour worker exchange of experience is ideologically open for a society without capitalist exploitation and oppression. But we are from the whole heart, our history and conviction anti-fascists. In order to strengthen these requests we also work closely together with the revolutionary world organization ICOR (International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations). We will make your struggle and your concerns known via our homepage and the activists of the harbour worker exchange of experiences.
We wish you, your families a lot of strength and solidarity,

You never walk alone
High the International Solidarity

With cordial and solidarity greetings

Birgit, Jeroen, Joachim, Juergen

Mai 2016

Dear Mates, Dockers and Affiliates,

here is a serious call for solidarity. In Bremen the dockers are facing a massiv attack on there hard fought rights and working conditions. Probably 450 of them could be dismissed. The usually had been employed by the half statesowned BLG to run the warehouse for Tchibo and other duties. The BLG claims they dockers are to expensive and not flexible enough. This allegation has no basis but the fact, that BLG wants to replace them with low-paid workers. On Friday, May 27th, the union verdi has called for a public demonstration of protest. Please send notes of solidarity. Remember:

You’ll never walk alone!!!

This is the official invitation of verdi:

160523 Aufrug_verdi

March 2016


A strike by dockers at the Port of Grangemouth has been suspended following a breakthrough in a dispute over shift patterns.

The union Unite said the action was suspended after port owners Forth Ports agreed to hold talks.
Arrangements are being made with the conciliation service Acas, with talks expected to begin early next week.
Unite said picket lines would be lifted and about 80 port workers would make „a full return to work“ by Monday.
Crane drivers and loaders began a two-week strike on Tuesday, with Unite claiming that new rotas being introduced by Forth Ports amounted to a „de facto pay cut“.
On Friday, Unite claimed that fuel supplies to forecourts in Scotland and the north of England could be hit by the strike.
Forth Ports said only its container quayside operations had been affected by the action.


Announcing the suspension of the strike, Unite regional officer Sandy Smart said: „We are pleased that Forth Port’s management have lifted their imposition on our members‘ shift rotas and agreed to enter into conciliation.
„Our strike action will now be suspended with immediate effect and picket lines will be lifted, enabling full operations at the port to get under way again.
„This is an important first step on the path to resolving this dispute.
„If Forth Port’s management approach the conciliation with the same spirit in which they accepted our offer then we will be able to negotiate a mutually agreeable outcome.“
The Port of Grangemouth handles more than 150,000 containers annually, with daily sailings to Rotterdam, Antwerp, Felixstowe and Hamburg.

About us

Dear collegues,

we are a group of dockers and friends of dockers who gather in different locations roughly every 3 years to exchange information with the goal to unite the dockers on a rank-and-file basis. The latest meeting was in Hamburg in october 2014 the next one will be around 2017 in Rotterdam.
The expansions of ports in Zeebrugge, Antwerpen, Rotterdam, Wilhelmshaven and London led to vast overcapcities in the containersector in the Northrange. The Global Network Terminal Operators (GNT) are exploiting this situation for an increased competition, to press down dockers wages and attack fixed reliable working times. The EU delivers fitting laws with Port Package III and secret negotiations on TTIP with the US. The result is clear from the beginning: the lowest wages, the badest working conditions and so forth. The demand for a protection of the natural living conditions are abused by massive greenwashing! The international unity of the workers is the answer against such a powerful opponent.

There are ongoing protests, strikes and demonstrations of dockers – worldwide. But the missing link is an international coordination of actions and fights; a consultation is necessary which are our demands and how we can support each other.

Results and Agreements of the International Dockers Exchange of Experience (IDEE)

Struggle for every work- and trainingplace with wages that allow a condition of living in dignity. Equal wage for equal employment – general collectiv labour agreements according to the principle one company one contract in all ports. Rejection and rollback of setbacks.

Transformation of all limited contracts (zero-hour-contracts etc.), part time jobs and employment at agencies to fixed contracts in the ports. Cancellation of all zero-hour-contracts and similar contracts – let us put an end to day labour!

We fight as dockers against the sell-out of the ports and harbours by privatisation. We fight as well against the attempts of general deteriorations of our living and working conditions as part of the dictate of the EU.

We stand for the protection of the natural living conditions by supporting environmentaly friendly means of transport. We support the organization of resistance against the atomic- and armament transportation.

We fight for a better future for our families and especially for the youth. That is why we focuse consciously on the youth. Apprentices may be only employed for the purpose of their training. They may only work in addition to the ordinary dockers.

Friends of the struggle of dockers are heartly wellcomed. We are prepared to join with employees of other companies on the base of a common struggle.

We demand and concentrate our efforts to the achievemt of unions, who stand for the interest of all workers on a  democratic and militant base.

We decide on our work and goals democratically. We work on a voluntary and unpaid base. We discuss and debate in a solidary way. We are ueberparteilich (without regard for affiliations) – we welcome every democrat. Dockers are international, that is why we do not tolerate reactionary, nationalistic and fashistic ideas.

We are open in terms of world outlook, because the idea of a world without oppression and exploitation offsite capitalism inspires the day-to-day struggle and provides a perspective.

We are financially independent – we finance our work by ourselves, because we are only committed to our rules and resolutions! Donations are welcome even if bound to a special purpose of our work as long as the donor does not include further conditions with the donation.

Resolutions for the continuing work:

We meet again – well prepared with a plan to develop further international connections. …

Our homepage will have a unified appearance in three languages – English, German, Netherlands, the ports are solely responsible for there contributions on base of our common rules and regulations of the International Dockers Exchange of Experience. In our apperance of the homepage we strive for a better timeliness to inform us mutually faster more efficient and with better arguments. Therefore and for more reliable and tight cooperation we need more interpreters f.i. Spanish.

Solidarität international e.V. passed the following resolution on their 9th national gathering:

SI supports the IDEE especial with interpretation work, mainly in Dutch, French an Spanish. The IDEE consists up to date besides Germany  also Netherlands, Spain and Greece; colleagues from further countries should be mobilised for the meeting 2014 in Hamburg. The struggle and protests of dockers have far reaching effects for the struggle for liberation and against oppression in their countries and beyound their frontiers because they target an Achilles‘ heel of the international system of production the transport on sea. …


Dockworkers Exchange of Experiences
Resolution of the 2nd ICOR World Conference

The 2nd World Conference of the ICOR supports the 5th Exchange of Experiences of the Dockworkers on 25th and 26th October 2014 in Hamburg/Germany. The meetings of the dockworkers so far took place with dockworkers from the Netherlands, from Germany and Spain. Dockworkers play a key role in the closely intertwined system of imperialist worldwide production. Again and again there are strikes and struggles in the quays – around the globe. However, these struggles are only little connected and coordinated yet, and this connection is still often under reformist control.

The 2nd World Conference of the ICOR supports this meeting of the dockworkers based on the principles which have been agreed upon and remain valid. It makes use of the respective capacities of the member organizations for the participation of dockworkers from all continents.