Philippine-based terminal operator International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) has signed new union agreements that reinstate pay and conditions for workers at two union ports in Papua New Guinea.
ICTSI South Pacific (ICTSISP) and its PNG terminal operating subsidiaries, South Pacific International Container Terminal Limited (SPICTL) and Motukea International Terminal Limited (MITL), initiated the signing of implementation agreements with the PNG Maritime Transport Workers Union (PNG MTWU).
Under the agreements, SPICTL and MITL will carry out all the provisions of both the PNG National Stevedoring & Handling Workers’ Industrial Agreement of 2016 and the PNG Other Maritime Workers’ Industrial Agreement of 2016.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation has welcomed the union agreement, but said that concerns remain over the future of 213 workers still without a contract at Port Moresby.
“This Memorandum of Agreement is a significant victory for workers who were looking down the barrel of a 50 per cent wage cut,” Paddy Crumlin, ITF president and chair of the ITF dockers’ section, said.
“However the ITF remains concerned that 213 workers are still without a contract after receiving termination notices from the former concession holder at Port Moresby. The transition of these jobs to the new Motukea terminal needs to be urgently addressed by ICTSI,” Crumlin added.
The signing of this agreement “shadows months of disruption,” following the awarding of concession agreements to ICTSI for the operation of PNG’s two major ports in October last year, which had meant a cut in pay and inferior conditions for workers, according to ITF.
“Trade unions across the world will now be watching to ensure that ICTSI honours all of its commitments in PNG, by protecting the jobs of existing dockworkers on decent pay and conditions,” Crumlin concluded.