Unity, resistance and determination bring victory to dockers in Pakistan

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In a significant achievement, dockers in Pakistan have forced management at Hutchison’s Karachi terminal to officially recognise their union, accept their charter of demands and reinstate the union President and a maritime worker sacked for union activity.

The fight for union recognition at Hutchison’s South Asia Pakistan Terminal (SAPT) was won last night following strike action, despite local management’s previous attempts to thwart the formation of a union at the company.

Paddy Crumlin, President of the International Transport Workers’ Federation and Dockers’ Section Chair today congratulated the union members:

We congratulate all Pakistani dockers on your commitment to fight for your fundamental rights to freely associate and collectively bargain. Your unity, resistance and determination made this victory possible, demonstrating for the rest of the world the power of collectivism and the power of dockers in Pakistan.

The ITF welcomes the recognition of SAPT Democratic Workers’ Union as the workers’ legitimate union to act at the collective bargaining agent for dockers at SAPT.

“The official recognition of the SAPT Democratic Workers’ Union is an important achievement and will pave the way for the union to continue to improve wages, working conditions and health and safety of their members,” Crumlin said.

SAPT Democratic Workers’ Union and Hutchison also agreed to restore the jobs of the union’s President and another member who were unfairly dismiss in March, and agreed to enter into negotiations to improve conditions at the port for workers.

Today SAPT Democratic Workers’ Union President Marvia Muhammed thanked the international trade union community for their support:

“We wish to thank the ITF and our brothers and sisters from MUA in Australia and SPJICT in Indonesia for their solidarity. Knowing that we have support from trade unions across the globe – and across Hutchison’s global network – gave our members added confidence to continue our struggle.”

“We’re now committed to continue holding SAPT management to account and ensure that they deliver on their promises.”

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