The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) issued the following news release on February 28.
Global protests target Madagascan Government in campaign to reinstate sacked dock workers
Attention: Transport, Shipping, Labor, Foreign and Africa news desks
The Government of Madagascar is the target of a global campaign launched today (February 28) to defend dock workers at the ICTSI operated Port of Toamasina in Madagascar. The campaign by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) will see protests outside of Madagascan embassies across three continents.
Steve Cotton, ITF General Secretary said this was the first action in an ongoing campaign to get 43 dock workers reinstated after they were sacked for being members of a union.
"These workers were sacked for fighting for better wages and against dangerous conditions. After joining their union, they faced intimidation and retaliation from management – who gave them two options: leave the union or lose their jobs.
“The workers refused and were sacked, contravening their rights to freedom of association. Most are struggling to survive. The Court of Madagascar recognised that SYGMMA had the right to organise at the Port of Toamasina. To date, none of the 43 workers who were dismissed for union activity have been reinstated,” Cotton said.
Paddy Crumlin, ITF President said the Government of Madagascar is on notice that the global union movement are standing with the Toamasina port workers.
“We will not rest until these workers get justice. These actions today will send a clear message – these workers must be allowed go back to work,” Crumlin said.
The ITF protests are happening outside of the Madagascan embassies in Sydney, Washington, Brussels, Rotterdam, Paris, Istanbul and Helsinki. The campaign is calling on people to email the Government of Madagascar to show their support for the 43 workers. For more information on the campaign go to https://www.justicefordockworkers.org.
The ICTSI operated Port of Toamasina is the main gateway for $360 million worth of textile products exported to Europe, $100 million to South Africa, and $60 million to the USA. Major international brands source clothing in Madagascar – including Levi Strauss.
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