Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dublin Port Dispute End in Sight As Milford Haven Plans Stoppage for Oil and Gas Tankers

As One Door Opens Another Appears to Close for Dock Labour Relations
Shipping News Feature

IRELAND / UK - Further to our story last August revealing the parlous state of labour relations in the Port of Dublin we have received word today that a mutually agreeable settlement is now in the offing. The original dispute centred around claims that the owners, messrs Peel Ports, were determined to break union representation and whose port management company, Marine Terminals Limited (MTL) in turn criticised labour representatives, including the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) for misrepresenting financial rewards to their members. The strike has been subject to an effective web campaign by the disgruntled workers.

After intensive meetings between the interested parties including transport union coordinators the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), we are told that talks are continuing and all hope for a speedy and successful resolution. An MTL spokesman was quick to dispel rumours of further industrial action and confirmed the discussions had been constructive with a view to finally resolving the dispute “in the very near future”.

SIPTU’s Divisional Organiser, Christy McQuillan, said:

“The International Transport Workers’ Federation have produced proposals for settlement of this lengthy dispute between Marine Terminals Limited and SIPTU. The workers affected will ballot on these proposals at a meeting in Liberty Hall later this evening. The proposals take account of a Labour Court Recommendation issued last October and also Arbitration Findings issued in January of this year.”

He concluded: “The proposals have already secured the support of MTL Management. The ITF initiative presents the best opportunity thus far for resolution of this protracted dispute.”

In other news, a further dispute around the waters of Milford Haven in Wales means that, should talks today prove unsuccessful, there will be a new 12 hour strike by pilots who guide the giant bulk carriers to and from the berths.

The new stoppage is planned to commence at 6am on the 23rd February with possibly a work to rule to follow which could equally damage throughput of freight.

A UNITE union representative said today: "We gave served notice yesterday for action to take place next Tuesday. And after that the pilots will be taking other action, which will include an overtime ban and a work to rule."

Photo : Port of Dublin