A number of unions from the Asia and Oceania region have decided to join the International Dockworkers Council (IDC) in an aim to increasingly involve themselves in negotiations and the improvement of working conditions of dockworkers across the two continents.
The move would also boost the unions’ international presence as part of the IDC, which now counts over 100,000 dockworkers across five continents as members.
Namely, IDC’s presence in Australia includes branches of the 10,000-strong Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) in the city of Sydney and now the state of Queensland as well.
During the most recent IDC General Assembly held in September in Miami, United States, the affiliation of workers from Hong Kong was ratified. Additionally, the IDC has established and strengthened bilateral contacts with unions in Papua New Guinea, India and South Korea.
The Papua New Guinea Maritime and Transport Workers Union (PNG MTWU) gives great importance to the significant role of women in maritime work. This union, composed mainly of dockworkers, fishermen and women, transport workers and seafarers, has a workforce of dockers that are 40% women, with 50% of these aged 35 years and under.
Furthermore, dockworkers belonging to the Madras Port Trust Employees’ Union (MPTEU) of India, which is part of the All-India Port and Dock Workers Federation (AIPDWF), has expressed interest in working with IDC.
“Some of the principal unions in the Asia and Oceania region want to explore channels of communication and ways of working with us,” IDC General Coordinator Jordi Aragunde said, adding that this is “a sign that the IDC is expanding its efforts and its solidarity and professional work all over the world.”