Over 300 delegates representing around 100,000 dockers met in Miami, Florida (United States) for three days in late September The Assembly re-elected Jordi Aragunde as IDC General Coordinator by a unanimous vote and voted on the lines of action it will take for the next two years Recognized as an international negotiator, the IDC is set to meet with the European Commissioner for Transport in support of the current Spanish dockers’ conflict IDC, 03/10/2016. Miami (Florida, United States). Over 300 union delegates from five continents met from the 27th to the 29th of September in Miami, Florida in the...
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IDC, 03/10/2016. Miami (Florida, United States). Over 300 union delegates from five continents met from the 27th to the 29th of September in Miami, Florida in the United States to mark the 7th General Assembly of the International Dockworkers Council (IDC). The IDC currently represents around 100,000 dockworkers, having experienced growth of close to 50 percent in the two years since its last meeting in 2014. These figures establish the IDC as the principal international labor organization in the port stevedoring industry.
The General Assembly voted unanimously for the admission of new affiliates, as well as the re-election by a unanimous vote of Spanish docker Jordi Aragunde to lead the general coordination of the IDC for another two years. Those responsible for each zone that the IDC’s international union action is divided into reaffirmed their work in various concurrent meetings in the presence of members from each of the countries where workers affiliated to the IDC are situated.The Assembly also endorsed the International Dockworkers Council as the highest exponent for representation and collective negotiation at the international level before all forms of public administration and institutions. With its wide-ranging presence of international delegates, this meeting also endorsed various lines of work for the next two years, among the most important of which was the drawing up of an international agreement of common conditions of labor for confronting the global problems that dockers face with companies and government administrations.
Unanimous support for the Spanish ports system and meeting with the European Commission
In the framework of its new negotiating role, the IDC will accompany the Spanish dockers’ union Coordinadora to their diplomatic meetings with the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc. At the meeting scheduled to take place this November, Coordinadora and the IDC hope to make their views about the fundamental role that dockworkers play in the revival of the Spanish economy known to the institutions of Europe.The dockers that met in Miami offered their unequivocal support to the defense of the efficient Spanish ports system model: “The IDC will not allow the damaging of the conditions of our compañeros (comrades) and we hope that the Administration and the Spanish employers can come together to open up a period of honest and frank negotiations”.
The problem of automation up against human terminals
In this year’s Assembly there was one burning issue which had a particular importance for all workers present. That was the automation of port terminals, to which a full day of work was dedicated. While these workers have no problem with technological advances, they forcefully reject either the loss or reduction of any jobs caused by the progressive automation of the terminals. During this panel discussion consensus was reached around a document that brought together the various strategies needed to continue defending human terminals against automation.This day included the participation of specialists and professionals from the academic world and public administration who affirmed that efficiency in the terminals does not depend on the automation of infrastructure but instead on the efficient organization of workers and above all, the existence of ongoing training for the dockworkers across all ports on a global scale. It is this that allows them to provide one of the determining factors of the similar jobs that are done by those that work in different countries and continents. Special mention must be made here of the training of professionals in African and Latin American ports with the firm intention of increasing efficiency and making these ports more competitive.
The International Dockworkers Council
The International Dockworkers Council (IDC) is a global union federation which was formally founded in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the Canary Islands of Spain in 2000. Today it brings together close to 100,000 dockworkers across five continents, and works to defend workers and their jobs through both training and the continual improvement of their working conditions.With its central office in the city of Barcelona, Spain, the IDC is organized into six different zones (Europe, Africa, West Coast of North America and the Pacific, East Coast of North America, Oceania and Latin America), each with its own Coordinator who was nominated at the General Assembly.
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