Unions Push Madagascar to Reinstate Sacked Dockers

South African unions will organize a protest on October 18 demanding that the Madagascan Government takes all necessary steps to reinstate 43 dockworkers who were sacked at the Port of Toamasina.

Planned by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and its affiliate the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), the protest would be held in an effort to restore the dockworkers to their former position at the port operated by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI).

“The Madagascan Government must ensure that they are reinstated, and that their right to join a union to fight for decent work is recognised and respected,” Edga Mbina Mbina, SATAWU Provincial Secretary, said.

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) President, Paddy Crumlin, said that the Madagascan Government’s refusal to enforce a court order recognising these workers’ right to organise “is damaging Madagascar’s image not only across the region but around the world.”

ITF informed that the Malagasy 43 were employed by labour-hire company SMMC when fired in 2012 following legitimate union activity. None of the workers have been reinstated, and the workers’ union SYGMMA has not been recognised by SMMC.

The protest, set to start at 08:30 local time at the African Ports Evolution conference in Durban, South Africa, forms part of global week of lawful actions by ITF affiliates within ICTSI’s global terminals and shipping routes.

Earlier in October an analysis conducted by ITF allegedly found an emerging pattern of labour rights violations at ICTSI. The ITF claimed that the report shows that labour issues at ICTSI terminals “can be found throughout ICTSI’s global network.”

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