Building on the principle of strength in numbers, transport unions from across Europe will join together this month to demand improved working conditions and fair competition. And Nautilus International's younger members will be there in force with plenty to say...
Nautilus is backing a major Europe-wide campaign against poor working conditions and social dumping in transport industries.
Organised by the European Transport Workers' Federation, the Fair Transport campaign has seen unions stage more than 100 different actions in at least 18 different countries to highlight the damaging effects of unfair competition and social dumping in the transport sector.
The campaign has been organised ahead of European Parliament elections – and it includes a Fair Transport manifesto calling for politicians to prevent European transport workers from being undercut on pay by those sent from other countries, and to tackle dangerously long working hours and the use of short-term contracts.
It also seeks to protect transport workers from the potential negative effects of automation and digitalisation, calling for new technology to be introduced in a 'socially sustainable manner', with retraining and requalification provided for workers affected.
Planned campaign actions include a European Tug event in London on 21 March and protests in the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg on 25 March.
Many transport workers across different industries face similar issues, so it is important for us to join each other and show that collectively we want better standards throughout the continent and worldwide
The campaign is set to climax with a demonstration in Brussels on 27 March, with some 5,000 transport workers from all over the EU expected to come together to call for quality jobs for transport workers and safe, reliable and affordable services for customers.
Nautilus members will be taking part in the event – with a group from the Nautilus Young Maritime Professionals (YMP) Forum travelling to Brussels following the forum meeting in Rotterdam on Monday 25 March.
Nautilus YMP members will also present a motion in support of the ETF campaign to the TUC Young Workers conference in London on 23 and 24 March. The motion notes that seafarers are disproportionately affected by low wages, poor conditions and precarious work.
A river cruise event in Basel, Switzerland, will be held jointly by Nautilus and the ETF on 25 March to highlight exploitation of crew in the booming inland navigation sector.
Nautilus international organiser Danny McGowan said: 'We are proud to join this action calling for governments across Europe to work together to make transport – and shipping – fair. Many transport workers across different industries face similar issues, so it is important for us to join each other and show that collectively we want better standards throughout the continent and worldwide.'
ETF president Frank Moreels added: 'We are determined to send a clear message to the world. We want to see a real improvement in working and living conditions for millions of transport workers.'
For more information on the campaign, see: www.fairtransporteurope.eu
Main image: Students from Fleetwood Nautical Campus (part of Blackpool and the Fylde College) with personnel at the Port of Fleetwood.