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Updated: 18.12.2012 15:51
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10 Jahre danach - eine Niederlage, die zur Hoffnung wurde

Bis heute ist keiner der 500 vor 10 Jahren entlassenen wiedereingestellt - trotzdem wurde die Auseinandersetzung der Dockers zum Hoffnungssymbol, weil es eine erste grosse internationale Kampagne wurde, die bis heute weitergeht. Die (englische) Pressemitteilung von der Jubiläumsveranstaltung in Liverpool vom IDC "Union members worldwide commemorate 10 years of union struggle" vom 3. Oktober 2005.

Union members worldwide commemorate 10 years of union struggle

Liverpool, the defeat that turned to hope

Liverpool commemorated the 10th anniversary of the exemplary continuing struggle of 500 men and their families against the hostility of the company Merseyside Docks and the British governments complicity. Having been unfairly dismissed, the 500 Liverpool dockworkers became a shining example for dockers worldwide, as the spark that lit the International Dockworkers Council five years later. The event clearly showed the dockworkers willingness to defend their profession through international solidarity.

Ten years later, the wound caused by the sacking of 500 workers from the port of Liverpool has still not healed. Not one of the 500 workers has been reinstated and the company, Merseyside Docks, has never recognised its responsibility. However, the workers movement has converted their English comrades struggle into a symbol of worker solidarity. The desire for the events in Liverpool never to be repeated led to the birth of the IDC in the year 2000. In this spirit, dozens of delegates from all over the world met in the English city to commemorate the ten years resistance of a group of workers who have never renounced their profession as dockworkers.

The Liverpool workers had invited their comrades to join them under the slogan "You ll never walk alone"

In 1995, the mass redundancy in Liverpool was met by an international campaign of solidarity which, although it failed to get the workers reinstated, become the embryo for the future IDC.

Since its founding, in June 2000, the IDC has successfully countered numerous attacks on the dockworkers profession both in Europe and throughout the world, making it a highly effective tool for unions. In the European Union, the IDC was fundamental in defeating the Directive aimed at deregulating the port industry and expelling professional dockworkers from the jobs. In 2003 the Directive was rejected by the European Parliament after an intense campaign by workers to point out the absurdity of the proposals. However, for dockworkers, the victory of the Directive could not be understood without the defeat of Liverpool. Today, with a new Directive proposed that repeats many of the errors of the previous one, the workers are aware that only through supranational unity can a movement defending their profession be successful. If one thing is clear after the Liverpool meeting, it is the commitment of dockers, and in particular the IDC, to meet any attempt to deregulate their profession with a united front. Thus, on the 6th October, a 4-hour stoppage has been called to draw attention to the lack of dialogue surrounding the new Directive.

The event in Liverpool was attended by dockworkers union delegates from the IDC, the European Transport Workers Federation), the Japanese union Zenkowan, the FILT-CGIL from Livorno (Italy), the Australian MUA and the British TGWU and RMT, represented by their general secretary, Bob Crow. For the IDC, the event was attended by delegates of the ILWU and the ILA (both from the USA and Canada), the Portuguese FNSTP, the Spanish La Coordinadora and the Swedish Dockworkers Union.

Both the IDC General Secretary, Julián Garcia, and the ETF Secretary for Port Affairs, Frank Leys, expressed their commitment to working to get the English dockworkers back their real jobs.

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