NTF: ITF’s Decision to Declare Oslo Port POC Was Inevitable

It was finally necessary to declare Oslo Port as Port of Convenience (POC) and ask for international solidarity to stop the attacks on both seafarers and dockworkers in the port, the Norwegian Transport Workers’ Union (NTF) told World Maritime News.

“We, in the Norwegian Transport Workers’ Union, are very disappointed that we had to go to the stage to declare the Port of Oslo as a Port of Convenience (POC),” the union pointed out.

“The work in Oslo port is both in violation of national collective agreements, ship’s collective agreements and in violation of international conventions, ILO 137 and ILO 152, which Norway has ratified. There is therefore, no doubt that social dumping is still going on in the port of Oslo,” NTF added.

The NTF said that the former political majority in Oslo municipality worked hard, together with The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), to close the dockworkers out of the port area. This was partly successful from 2014. When a new political board in Oslo was elected in 2015, there was an agreement between the city council partners and other political parties that ILO 137 should be followed. This was also approved by the board of Oslo Havn KF – the municipality company of the Port of Oslo governing the port activity – as late as June this year, as explained by NTF.

During the consideration of this case at the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s (ITF) meeting in Cape Town in June 2017, there was unanimity to declare Oslo Port as POC. However, the Norwegian representatives asked for a final decision to be postponed until we saw the result of the decision in Oslo Havn KF.

In the summer and autumn this year, several meetings were held between the ITF Coordination Committee in Norway and representatives of Oslo Havn KF and the political authorities in Oslo to find a solution to the problem.

However, as dockworkers’ and seafarers’ rights, as well as their pay and working conditions, continued to be violated, ITF Coordination Committee in Norway was authorized to make a final decision on the matter.

As informed, ITF inspectors revealed in their controls that seafarers often perform the work traditionally carried out by dockworkers. This has been done in violation of ships’ collective agreements on cargo handling clause and often without seafarers being paid according to the wage agreement in the collective agreements on board.

World Maritime News Staff

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