USB: National Ports Coordination launched in Genoa
launching a platform for the sector
A crowded assembly of port workers organised by USB was held in Genoa on 8th of May, attended by over 200 people: along with the large delegation of Genoese dockworkers, there were workers from the ports of Trieste, Livorno, Civitavecchia and Naples.
The reasons that led a large number of delegates, before members of other trade unions, to set up the USB structure were highlighted: the worsening of working conditions with the increase in loads, the worsening of safety levels, the increase in fixed-term contracts and the entry of temporary workers into the port, caused by the downward agreements reached by Cgil Cisl Uil with private companies that manage the state-owned areas of the port, also sold to foreign states (see PSA, Port of Singapore Authority), which aim at maximum profit at the expense of workers.
The objectives of the assembly, which was also attended by delegations of logistics workers and seafarers, were to set up a network of the cargo handling supply chain and launch a platform that will be presented in detail and discussed at assemblies in various ports in Italy.
At the basis of this platform is the proposal for a model that introduces the issue of environmental sustainability and also addresses the problem of automation, self-production and digitalisation, as well as the need for investment to guarantee jobs by reducing working hours. A model that guarantees health and safety in a sector that has seen an exponential increase in accidents and deaths, even during the pandemic, while shipowners have increased their profits tenfold. A model that prevents the proliferation of job insecurity and introduces the recognition of port work as an arduous category.
These are some of the guidelines of the platform, which also includes the problem of trade union democracy, recognising the right of workers to be represented by the organisations they themselves have chosen, and the necessary relationship with port workers in European countries facing the same problems.
The logistics workers recounted the struggles they had fought with determination and the disputes they had won, recalling the sacrifice of Abd El Salam in front of GLS in Piacenza.
The Alitalia workers retraced the stages of the perverse privatisation of the company, now Alitalia, with the Draghi government, completely submissive to the diktats of the European Commission, risks disappearing with a very high price in terms of thousands and thousands of redundancies. The hard struggle that these workers are fighting is the same as that of the former Ilva in Taranto, sold to the multinational ArcelorMittal, here too with the result of thousands of dismissals and the continuing poisoning of the environment.
Recalling anti-fascism as a constituent character of the USB, the campaign against arms trafficking was stressed, which saw the comrades of the port of Genoa as protagonists and for which they are now being investigated and subjected to repressive measures.
The representatives of the Indian labourers spoke to the logistics delegates, it is necessary to unify the struggles, who recalled the thousands of workers whose jobs are about to expire due to the will of the Government and Confindustria, which wants to take advantage of the pandemic to reorganise the productive structure to its own advantage.
Recalling the two events linked to the G20, the workers' general strike and the USB and WFTU international conference and the national demonstration on health and safety in Rome on the 22nd, the assembly concluded by confirming the need to take up the global challenge thrown down by capital to the whole world of work.