Date: Fri, 1 Aug 97 18:12:40 CDT
/** labr.global: 327.0 **/
BA Bosses Threaten ITF For Backing Workers
From the Institute for Global Communication, LaborNews, 1 August 1997
Date: 07/14 1:13 PM
To: International portworkers Dear Colleagues, 14 July 1997
We would like to alert you to comments made by the ITF last week in the context of the current dispute involving T&GWU members employed at British Airways, which we believe have important implications for our own dispute. On their internet website (http://www.ITF.ORG.UK/british-airways-strike.html), the ITF point out on 11th July:
"BA is now threatening to take legal action both against the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) and against the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). The threat against the ITF, by Human Resources Director Mervyn Walker asserts that the ITF has breached UK labour law by calling upon foreign trade unions to support their colleagues in BA. ITF General Secretary David Cockroft has replied rejecting this assertion and stressing that the ITF will not be intimidated by such legal threats. In an article in the Financial Times on July 10th, Cockroft points out that the ITF would be put in an impossible situation if the British courts found that it was acting illegally by asking affiliates to take action which was legal in their own countries. As most ITF affiliates know very well, the ITF is a federation of autonomous trade unions and any solidarity action undertaken by those affiliates are decided by the organisations themselves... and the ITF stand ready to defend themselves vigorously in court should any action be launched."
Merseyside Port Shop Stewards welcome the determination of the ITF to resist the legal challenge to their right to appeal for international solidarity over British Airways. We believe that in exactly the same manner, the ITF could appeal for international solidarity in support of our own dispute. We would urge affiliated unions to raise this matter with the ITF at the earliest possible opportunity. The question of our sacking is no longer a question for Liverpool dockers and their families alone, nor even for our union alone. It is a question for all dockers everywhere. We ask all of our supporters to indicate to the ITF their support for the impending international action and boycott of ships and shipping lines continuing to call in the scab Port of Liverpool, and to call on the ITF itself to lend its vigorous support to this action.
Yours in Solidarity,