World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


ITF Congress Remembers 1889 London Dockers’ Strike

14 August 2014

ITF congress remembers 1889 London dockers’ strike

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) congress in Sofia, Bulgaria, today remembered the 1889 Great London Dock Strike as a great early example of international solidarity.

Meanwhile in the UK Unite the Union today sent a boat down the River Thames and into the Port of Tilbury as the first of a series of events to mark the 125th anniversary of the strike and kick off ‘Year of the Docker’ festivities.

Unite the Union national officer for docks and inland waterways, Bobby Morton, said that in 1889, thousands of dock labourers had walked off the job demanding the famous “dockers’ tanner”, and changes in the way workers were hired.

At the time, casual labourers had to compete against each other to be employed for a few hours or a day at a time, and were at the mercy of the contractors and foremen, who hired and fired at will.
“It was led by pioneers such as John Burns, Tom Mann and Ben Tillett, which led to the first organising of the docks and gradually became the Transport and General Workers Union,” Mr Morton said.
“As we moved through the 125 years, obviously the dockers have a great affiliation with seafarers which led to the creation of the ITF, which became a great, worldwide movement.”
ITF president Paddy Crumlin said today was a day to celebrate the past, enjoy the present and get ready for the future.

“We’re still up against the same organised elitism and the same crushing of workers’ rights 125 years later,” Crumlin said.

“But we’ve got great hope – if you can do it in 1889, against all the odds, and you bring in all of the international forces, including my union, the Maritime Union of Australia, then you can do it again today.”

After the strike began, the cost of providing meals and clothing for thousands of workers and their families looked as though it might lead to the collapse of the strike.

But Australia’s Brisbane Wharf Labourers’ Union sent the first installment of 150 Pounds and in total the Australian Labour movement donated 30,000 of the 48,000 Pounds raised.

“They were reaching out in solidarity and sent a message that we’re all in it together. We’ve never lost that spirit and we should never lose that spirit in a world more globalised than ever before,” Crumlin said.

“Here at the ITF Congress, let’s remember and reflect; we are a mighty movement; we have been for more than a hundred years and will be for hundreds of years to come.”

The dock strike was immediately preceded by the successful strike by women workers at a match factory in the East End of London and most of these women were related to or married to dockers.

The match workers won their strike for better health and safety conditions in their factory and this win is thought by many to have motivated the dockers to take up their fight.

The 43rd ITF congress in Sofia brings together almost 2,000 participants from 379 unions in 116 countries.

News about congress is available at www.itfcongress2014.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ITFglobal and Twitter at https://twitter.com/itfglobalunion (hashtag is #ITFcongress2014).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Signs Of Ebola Decline In Liberia Offer ‘Glimmer Of Hope’

Equipped with UNICEF-developed and Government-approved awareness materials, these girls go door-to-door in West Point, Monrovia, to educate their parents, family members and friends about Ebola and how it can be prevented. Photo: UNICEF/UNI171713/Griggers More>>

ALSO:

Allegations Of Misreporting By Joint Darfur Mission

Ban ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Findings of Review of Allegations of Misreporting by Joint Darfur Mission More>>

Status Quo Not Viable Option’ In Jerusalem

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

ALSO:

  • ITUC - Israel’s Settlement Expansion is an Outrage
  • World News: No To TPP Trade-Offs

    No to TPP Trade-Offs, Say Public Health, Fair Trade Activists at Sydney TPP Ministers’ Meeting More>>

    ALSO:

  • AFTINET - Fair Trade Group Calls for Release of TPP Text
  • Al Jazeera Interpol Rejects Egypt Request For Red Notice On Journalist

    Interpol, the international organisation for police cooperation, has rejected a request from Egypt to issue one of its red notices against Ahmed Mansour, an Al Jazeera journalist. More>>

    UN-Backed Study: Fruit Flies To Prompt Better Pest Controls

    Bactrocera dorsalis is causing “incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security” across a swathe of countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and parts of South America. Photo: IAEA/Viwat Wornoayporn More>>


    ‘The Only Way To Stop Ebola Is At Its Source’ – UN Chief

    Girls in the city of Voinjama look at a poster that displays information and illustrations about how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo More>>

    ALSO:

  • Christian World Service - CWS appeals for help to Stop Ebola
  • UN: Multi-Billion Dollar Horn Of Africa Pledge

    UN’s Ban, Global Leaders Join Forces in Multi-Billion Dollar Horn of Africa Pledge More>>


     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news