The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

Why so many shipowners find Panama’s flag convenient

About 8,600 ships fly the Panamanian flag. By comparison, the US has around 3,400 registered vessels and China just over 3,700.

Excerpts from the BBC:

Most merchant ships flying Panama’s flag belong to foreign owners wishing to avoid the stricter marine regulations imposed by their own countries.

Panama operates what is known as an […]


ITF condemns Tunis attacks against unions and democracy

Click on the video image to watch “Vidéo de Nessma montrant les agressions des milices contre les membres de l’UGTT,” or “Nessma video showing militia assault against the members of the UGTT.”

A media description of the video describes the sequence: “A shocking video broadcast on Nessma TV shows […]


Union victory over Turkish no strike law

ITF unions provided support and solidarity for the Turkish workers.

Turkey’s government has withdrawn a controversial ban on strikes in civil aviation in the face of determined national and international protests.

The ban had been added to Law 2822, passed earlier this year. This is now being wholly replaced by a new Collective Labour Relations […]


David Cockroft to retire as ITF general secretary

David Cockroft

David Cockroft, who has been general secretary of the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) since 1993, has announced that he will retire at the end of May 2013 when he reaches the age of 60.

The announcement was made at the meeting of the ITF executive board in Copenhagen, Denmark, which also agreed […]


ITF backs ILWU president

ILWU International President Robert ‘Big Bob’ McEllrath was detained on September 7, 2011 in Cowlitz County, WA, while protesting corporate greed with hundreds of ILWU members at EGT Port of Longview. Photo by ILWU Local 40 President Dawn Des Brisay.

The ITF has expressed its strong backing for Robert McEllrath, international president of the ILWU, […]


Breathing space for Puerto Quetzal union welcomed

News that the military has withdrawn from Puerto Quetzal port in Guatemala and that privatisation plans have been temporarily put on hold as a result of an agreement between the government and the port workers’ union STEPQ (Sindicato de Trabajadores de Empresa Portuaria Quetzal) has been welcomed by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) today […]


Threat of new waterfront war over automation on wharves

MUA boss Paddy Crumlin says he will seek international union support for a campaign against Patrick. Picture: Sam Mooy Source: News Limited.

The maritime union has threatened an international campaign to disrupt Patrick’s Port Botany operations, vowing to “fight to the death” controversial plans by owner Asciano to unilaterally replace employees with machines.



'Patrick layoff plan will be defeated'

The AutoStrad fleet in Brisbane, introduced in 2005, promised big results. However, target box rates are lower than elsewhere in the country, said Mick Doleman, MUA deputy national secretary. He said, ‘The technology Patrick’s is introducing is unproductive and very expensive. This will not lift productivity, and will become a millstone around shareholders’ necks.’

The […]


ITF president welcomes Australian shipping reform

ITF president and Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin recently welcomed the passing of bills that secure the future of Australian shipping.

The Australian government’s landmark Shipping Reform Package bills passed the Australian Parliament’s House of Representatives with a narrow vote of 71 – 69.

All of the speakers in favour made mention […]


International unions put New Zealand on notice over attacks on workers

From the International Transport Workers’ Federation:

A powerful group of global unions – which between them represent tens of millions of unionised workers – today said they are now on ‘red alert’ over the treatment of workers in New Zealand that is being dramatically illustrated by disputes at the Ports of Auckland, Affco and the […]


Solidarity for workers at the Ports of Auckland, New Zealand

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has sent the following letter to dockworkers around the world. Please also see the Maritime Union of New Zealand’s video message following the letter.

Dear Friends,

The Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) and Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) have been negotiating to renew the collective agreement at the […]


New Zealand: ITF warns Port of Auckland is ‘on brink’

International Transport Workers’ president and MUA (Maritime Union of Australia) general secretary Paddy Crumlin, and ITF general secretary David Cockroft on Thursday warned that the Port of Auckland is on the brink of being declared a ‘port of convenience’.

The warning came as the dispute between Auckland dockers and the ports company dragged into its […]


Global Union ITF Pledges Support To Qantas Workers

Qantas workers have the support of the ITF, whose President, Paddy Crumlin, said that Qantas' CEO Alan Joyce 'may see this as an investment to break the unions, impose new conditions and outsource operations to other countries in Asia without having to deal with its employees — but our national economy will be the […]


ITF condemns detention of ILWU president

ILWU International President Robert McEllrath detained by law enforcement for standing with his members against multinational EGT in Longview, WA, September 7, 2011. Photo by ILWU Local 40 President Dawn Des Brisay

8 September 2011: The ITF has condemned the detention yesterday of ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) president Bob McEllrath while attending […]


ITF to donate £200,000 to Japan earthquake relief

Japan Tsunami aftermath

Global union federation the International Transport Workers Federation is to donate £200,000 (Aust$324,363/US$283,768) to relieve the effects of the Japanese earthquake, in order to spearhead an appeal among its 781 member trade unions for help.

The federation will also approach other global union federations and the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) […]