Socialist Worker

Block Bolkestein on 14 February

by Philippe Alfonso, dock workers’ secretary of the European Transport Federation
Issue No. 1986

On 21 November European dockers took to the streets and defeated a second version of a European directive on port services. This unnecessary, provocative and unbalanced proposal was presented less than one year after previous protests had forced the European parliament to reject the idea.

Dock workers won a resounding victory last month when the European parliament again rejected plans to allow outside operators to handle cargo in European ports. Over 40,000 workers were involved in strike action across 12 countries and 10,000 marched on the European parliament.

We believe we have opened up a new social front. The dockers have shown that protests in Europe can make a difference.

Hopefully the mobilisation by the European Trades Union Congress against the free market Bolkestein directive in Strasbourg on Tuesday 14 February can be the next step in turning the tide of neo-liberalism in Europe.

The campaign against these directives from Europe can be part of starting to put wages and working conditions back on the agenda in an offensive way.

Representatives of dockers’ unions from around Europe will be there joining our trade union colleagues in another protest for workers’ rights.

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Sat 4 Feb 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1986
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