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Sofia, 12 August 2014

Dockers’ Section Conference REPORT

The Dockers’ Section Conference took place on 12 August 2014. Agenda Item 1: Election of Rapporteur Ray Familathe (ILWU, USA) was elected Rapporteur. Agenda Item2: Congress Theme Document

The Section Secretary gave a presentation, which focused on the Section’s priorities and four year work programme within the broader context of the organisation’s strategy set out in the Congress Theme Document. The Conference received many speakers from the floor in response to the presentation incorporating agenda items 2 and 3. The main issues raised were:

• Privatisation in ports; • Responding to and organising in GNT’s; • Strengthening solidarity capacity; • Port automation.

The common theme with all of these issues was the attempt by companies to reduce worker and union strength in both ports run and managed by large international corporations as well as smaller privatised ports while increasing profits. Publicly managed ports also posed challenges, especially as many faced privatisation. The discussion highlighted responses to these issues, including the following strategies:

• Union coordination; • Close cooperation between different transport sectors to address the changes to the industry; • Consolidate relationship with seafarers and seek their active support in tackling Ports of Convenience;

• Improving relationships between unions in countries and regions, including with Chinese trade unions;

• Building solidarity of workers and unions across GNTs; and

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