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Japanese unions call rally in support of Canadian action

International Transport Workers' Federation press release, 23 February 2001

Japanese unions affiliated to the ITF have organised a rally in Japan at 07:30 Monday 26 February in solidarity with Canadian dock workers. The action will protest the presence in Hachinoche port of the Malaysian-flagged vessel Alam Selaras, which used strike breaking non-union labour to carry out sampling and testing when docked in Vancouver.

The ILWU in the Port of Vancouver has been on strike for over a year, and the ITF's Japanese affiliate unions have already shown their support for their Canadian colleagues. In September last year they held a demonstration that delayed the ship Ocean Regina for several hours.

ITF Dockers' Section Secretary Kees Marges explained: "That action sent a strong message that union-busting will not be tolerated by the ITF and its affiliates. The owner subsequently agreed to sign an ITF approved agreement for the crew.

"Unfortunately, despite this victory some other vessels have employed non-union workers, who have consistently crossed ILWU picket lines at SGS Ltd, where Local 518 has been on strike for over a year."

He concluded: "Regrettably port workers in many countries are being confronted with anti-union policies. Employers cannot expect to do this with impunity. This latest action shows that wherever it may be in the world, we are ready to fight back."

For more information contact ITF press officer, Sam Dawson, direct line: + 44 (0)20 7940 9260. E-mail: dawson_sam@itf.org.uk Or in Japan, Shoji Yamashita, telephone +81 3 5410 8330. E-mail: yamashita_shoji@itf.org.uk

INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT WORKERS' FEDERATION - ITF: HEAD OFFICE, ITF House, 49 - 60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DS,Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7403 2733, Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7375 7871, Email: mail@itf.org.uk