PARIS, 20 JULY 2011

The trade unions representing European port workers affiliated into the IDC

CONSIDER that the so-called financial crisis is a product of the capitalist economic model, characterised by the depletion of natural resources, financial speculation and the unlimited and uncontrolled appropriation of economic benefits for the few.

CONSIDER that the present economic situation, which is seriously affecting workers worldwide, is based on decisions which promote precarious employment, the impoverishment of large sectors of society and the concentration of the capacity of production in a few economic groups.

CONSIDER that the political representatives elected by the citizens are not dealing with the crisis through solidarity measures to reinforce the Welfare State institutions. On the contrary, they are bowing to the directives of the speculative economic groups who, even during the crisis, are becoming richer whilst speculating against the impoverished labour conditions and life standards of the poorest sections of society.

NOTE that the liberal economic and political forces advocating for the privatisation of all sectors of production and the sale of public assets as a means of financing the debt of the countries is, in fact, increasing to the same global financial speculation.

NOTE that public services, essential to the Welfare State in order to promote equal rights for all citizens, are under a furious attack through the questioning of their value, efficiency and, in any case, denying them adequate funding.

CONDEMN that the above described situation is reaching the transport sector and, more specifically, the port industry and its facilities as a strategic sector for international trade. National governments – surrendered to speculators, are agreeing to the sale of port infrastructure, built with public funds, to international economic groups.

COMPROMISE to work in the defence of the public interest and port facilities in Europe, guarantee the arrival and dispatch of goods to and from all origins, supply the products to all citizens under conditions of equality, professionalism, competitiveness and productivity.

DEMAND from the European public authorities that the port system:

• Guarantees the professional activity of workers

• Applies the Health and Safety measures

• Respects the right to collective bargaining

• Promotes decent working conditions, and

• Engages into maintaining the employment of professional workers in all European port facilities and for all operations in their respective countries.

CALL AND JOIN all sectors and social, political, labour, cultural, trade union and citizen movements, to address the principles and objectives of the international speculators, calling for a day of action on [DATE] in the European port sector in defence of the aforementioned principles and objectives – In particular, to support our Brothers and Sisters in Greece.

Joe Saliba and Aldo Azzopardi represented the Malta Dockers Union at the Paris meeting.