• 2015 September 4 12:04

    ITF urges Ukraine to ratify seafarer rights conventions

    ITF general secretary Steve Cotton urged Ukraine to ratify MLC 2006 and ILO convention 185 on seafarers' identity documents, and praised the work of the Marine Transport Workers of Ukraine (MTWTU) as it celebrated 110 years of the union movement in maritime transport, ITF said in its press release.

    Addressing the MTWTU plenary in Odessa, Cotton commended the union’s “outstanding work” to promote the MLC and its efforts to represent seafarers and dockers in the Ukraine’s challenging political, economic and social environment.

    He said: “You are a ‘fighting back’ organisation and under Mykhailo Kirieiev’s leadership you have proven your willingness to take on a battle when required. We hope your experience can help us to promote that willingness throughout the ITF.”

    Cotton described unions’ battles “with employers, governments and the international financial institutions who want to strip away our trade union rights with a new proposed labour code”. He added: “Gone are the days of negotiating with a national company… unfortunately the prevailing brand of management is based on driving costs down and wiping out unions. The companies we fight are international so we have to take the fight to the international stage.”

    Cotton explained how the ITF was working to build union strength where it was needed and assist affiliates. “We are consolidating hubs and corridors, concentrating organising in key locations; influencing lead industry players and the huge, faceless conglomerates trying to take over governments; activating mass membership; and making sure we have affiliates in those countries that companies move to, to get away from organised labour – to make sure we take away the competitive advantage to the exploitation of labour.”

    Cotton attended the opening of the MTWTU’s new head office in Odessa, which was built with the help of a loan from the ITF to replace the building which was burned down during the violent clashes in May 2014.

    The union has also developed fruitful connections with many international unions, including ver.di, ACV Transcom and SEKO.




2021 June 12

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2021 June 11

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2021 June 10

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