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Sri Lanka: 14 unions to defy ban on May 1 rallies

Labourstart.org News - Sat, 04/21/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Times
Categories: Labor News

USA: How IBM Is Quietly Pushing Out Aging Workers

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ProPublica
Categories: Labor News

Global: World Bank recommends fewer regulations protecting workers

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Guardian
Categories: Labor News

Panama Canal Tugboat Captains Locked in Heated Dispute with Management Over Safe Manning of Tugs

Current News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 19:08

Panama Canal Tugboat Captains Locked in Heated Dispute with Management Over Safe Manning of Tugs
http://gcaptain.com/panama-canal-tugboat-captains-locked-in-heated-dispu...

April 18, 2018 by Mike Schuler

Here you can see the split line configuration used by a tugboat maneuvering a ship through the Expanded Panama Canal’s Neopanamax locks. Photo: Panama Canal Authority
Panama Canal tugboat captains are locked in a heated dispute with the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) regarding the authority manning and safe operation of tugboats in the new Neopanamax locks after the authority unilaterally and without warning reduced the number of deckhands available to the tugs.

The ACP is the agency of the Panamanian government that is responsible for the operation and management of the Panama Canal, a major economic driver for the country.

The dispute escalated in recent days since the ACP announced sanctions against some tugboat captains who the ACP accused of interrupting the performance of the Canal and causing economic loss by refusing to transit vessels on April 12.

The union representing the tugboat captains, UCOC Panama, has denied the ACP’s accusations of purposefully interrupting transits and maintains that any actions taken by their captains were based solely on their duty to maintain the security of ships in canal waters.

We spoke to a representative from the UCOC who described what is behind the dispute.

Unlike the Canal’s original locks, which use “mules” to maneuver ships through, the new Neopanamax locks require two tugboats, one forward and aft, that connect to transiting ships using a “split line” configuration. We are told the safest way to do this is by having three deckhands on the tugboats, particularly on the forward one which is most at risk while inside the locks.

According to the UCOC spokesperson, beginning at midnight on April 12, Panama Canal management unexpectedly refused to the provide the third deckhand for the forward tugboat, as has been the standard since the Expanded Panama Canal opened, and no explanation was provided for the change of procedure.

“The unconsulted and sudden decision of the Panama Canal Administration to eliminate a tugboat sailor from the bow, endangers the safety of customers, workers and the Canal’s own facilities,” the UCOC said in a statement over the weekend.

“It is false that the tugboat captains refuse to do their job; the events of the last 48 hours are due to discrepancies in issues that specifically affect the safety of navigation and the operation of the Panama Canal,” the statement added.

The UCOC cited an incident last November in which a deckhand was killed on a tugboat connected to the stern transiting vessel. Despite starting operations with three sailors, the aft tugs now only use two sailors, which the union believes may have contributed to the incident. “We do not want history to repeat itself,” the UCOC said.

On Tuesday, ACP Deputy Administrator Manuel Benítez took to Panamanian radio to defend the move to two deckhands and publicly blame the tugboat captains for interrupting canal operations.

“No one has the right to stop the traffic in the channel, because we have an authority structure where it is established that the work is done and then one complains. The channel is required to operate with discipline,” said Mr. Benítez, who also revealed that the April 12 stoppage impacted the transit 8 ships.

The ACP further defended its actions in a statement provided to gCaptain. It reads, in part:

The Panama Canal has normalized transits through its Neopanamax locks following a brief and isolated service interruption that occurred on April 12 when several tugboat captains refused to comply with mandatory procedures, endangering the Canal’s performance and causing economic loss…

…The Panama Canal is constitutionally mandated to ensure the waterway’s uninterrupted operation and has therefore taken steps to determine the necessary measures to discipline those responsible, as is required by Panamanian regulations.

We are told that, so far, at least one tugboat captain has received a letter of separation from the ACP, but the ACP has threatened further action against as many as 22 tugboat captains, according to the UCOC representative we spoke to.

“The sanctions imposed on April 12 removed those responsible for the incident from their functions,” a spokesperson for the ACP told gCaptain.”The Panama Canal Administration has started to officially investigate the group of tugboat captains that refused to comply with this decision as to their motivations for non-compliance.”

On Wednesday, the UCOC, which has accused the ACP of trying to privatize tugboat operations, said a mediation meeting with the ACP to try and resolve the dispute had failed to bring about any reasonable path forward.

The ACP has denied claims accusations that it is trying to privatize tugboat operations.

The Expanded Panama Canal opened larger vessels in June 2016. Since then, more than 3,000 vessels have made the transit through the new locks, far exceeding the initial traffic estimates for the waterway.

The operations of the existing Panamax locks have not been affected by the dispute. As of now, both the Panamax and Neopanamax locks operate as normal.

Tags: Panama Canal Tugboat Captains striketug workers
Categories: Labor News

Greek Ferry Crews Strike The reform is coming on top of pension cuts, rising unregistered labor and work without any insurance, PNO said.

Current News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 18:30

Greek Ferry Crews Strike
The reform is coming on top of pension cuts, rising unregistered labor and work without any insurance, PNO said.
http://gcaptain.com/greek-ferry-crews-strike/?
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April 18, 2018 by Reuters

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Piraeus Port Authority building and ferries in passenger port of Piraeus, Athens, Greece. Milan Gonda / Shutterstock.com
ATHENS, April 18 (Reuters) – Greek ferries remained docked at the country’s ports on Wednesday as seamen, marine engineers and ship cooks walked off the job to protest against planned government reforms which they say will further hurt their labor rights.

The 24-hour strike was organized by Greece’s seamen federation (PNO), which said the leftist-led government was preparing a reform allowing non-European flagged transport ships to sail in Greece, leading to job losses for Greek crews.

The reform is coming on top of pension cuts, rising unregistered labor and work without any insurance, PNO said.

PNO said later on Wednesday that the strike would be extended until Friday morning. “No more blows against our sector,” it said in a statement.

Passenger traffic was slow at Piraeus port on Wednesday morning. Traffic has been picking up as the summer, the top tourism season for the Mediterranean country, approaches.

Marine unions have strongly resisted reforms liberalizing the shipping sector, which along with tourism is a pivotal industry for Greece, a country of proud seafarers and shipowners.

Since its worst debt crisis in decades broke out in 2010, Greece has sold management rights and majority stakes at its two largest ports, as demanded by its foreign lenders, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The Greek state is considering concession deals for the development of about 850 small ports and marinas. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou Editing by Richard Balmforth)

Tags: Greek sailors strikereforms
Categories: Labor News

Kenya: Bill to curb workers’ strike in long list of 'essential' jobs

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Daily Nation
Categories: Labor News

Belarus: International union support for independent unions in Belarus

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IUF
Categories: Labor News

Yemen: Three media workers killed in two attacks

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IFJ
Categories: Labor News

France: 'Privatisation is hell': Protesting French rail workers defend their strikes

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: TheLocal.fr
Categories: Labor News

Criminal Negligence By Southwest Airlines Chief Operating Officer Mike van de Ven-Outsourcing Work To Increase Profits Southwest Airlines mechanics union warned of too much outsourcing of maintenance work

Current News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 15:59

Criminal Negligence By Southwest Airlines Chief Operating Officer Mike van de Ven-Outsourcing Work To Increase Profits

Southwest Airlines mechanics union warned of too much outsourcing of maintenance work

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/southwest-mechanics-union-warne...

MANDATPRU CREDIT
The engine on a Southwest Airlines plane is inspected as it sits on the runway at the Philadelphia International Airport. (AMANDA BOURMAN/AP)
BY
MEGAN CERULLO
JANON FISHER
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018, 6:31 PM
Weeks before the engine failure caused a passenger death, Southwest Airlines mechanics union warned of a “ostrich-like head-in-the-sand approach” regarding problems with the company’s aircraft maintenance program, according to a report.

In a Feb. 26 email, Bret Oestreich, the national director of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, cautioned Southwest Airlines Chief Operating Officer Mike van de Ven that there was too much outsourcing of maintenance work.

The head of the mechanics union warned that 75% of the maintenance work was farmed out to third-party vendors, according to the Chicago Business Journal.

“The truth is there exists a serious concern regarding the degradation of safety within Southwest’s maintenance program as determined by the Federal Aviation Administration,” the labor leader wrote. “The truth is sometimes difficult to digest and accept. In addition, the view from the top you enjoy as chief operating officer may be breathtaking, but the distance from the high perch which you sit up on to day-to-day operations has obviously blurred your perception of reality.”

The mechanics union is currently in contract negotiations with Southwest, a fact that van de Ven suggested was behind Oestreich’s warning, according to the business journal.

“You would be derelict in your duties as a chief operating officer were you to continue with the ostrich-like head-in-the-sand approach to the serious problems that exist within our maintenance program and culture,” the union chief wrote.

At the beginning of April, the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO report found that nearly a quarter of aircraft maintenance was done offshore in foreign maintenance bays.

“The dangerous dirty secret of the airline industry is their use of low paid mechanics in foreign countries to maintain passenger aircraft,” New York City subway union workers president John Samuelsen said. “It is a fact that Southwest and many other United States' airlines have overhaul work done overseas by mechanics who are not required to meet the stringent standards and requirements adhered to inside the United States. It's the ultimate example of a ‘profits before people’ business plan and it has created a clear and present danger to America's air travelers.”

Southwest Airlines also opposed a recommendation last year to inspect fan blades like the one that caused an engine failure, leaving one passenger dead Tuesday.

AP PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS THIRD PARTY PHOTO SOLELY TO ILLUSTRATE NEWS REPORTING OR COMMENTARY ON FACTS DEPICTED IN IMAGE; MUST BE USED WITHIN 14 DAYS FROM TRANSMISSION; NO ARCHIVING; NO LICENSING; MANDATORY CREDIT
Shrapnel from a Southwest Airlines engine shattered a window, resulting in the death of a woman who was partially sucked out of the plane. (MARTY MARTINEZ/AP)
Engine-maker CFM had proposed safety checks on its engines last June after a fan blade separated from a Southwest engine in August 2016, federal documents show.

That plane also made an emergency landing after debris from the engine tore a foot-long hole above the plane’s left wing.

Investigators found that the fan blades showed signs of metal fatigue.

The FAA proposed making CFM’s recommendation mandatory in August but never issued a directive.

The Dallas-based carrier pushed back on the recommendation, saying it needed more time to complete the checks.

“SWA does NOT support the CFM comment on reducing compliance time to 12 months,” Southwest Airlines wrote in a comment about the proposed rule.

CFM told the Daily News that Southwest had complied with two service bulletins issued in 2017.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday that fatigue cracks were found on the inside of the fan blade that broke on Southwest Flight 1380.

One dead after Southwest Airlines plane engine fails, explodes mid-flight
Passenger Jennifer Riordan died after she was partially sucked out a window that had been bashed by shrapnel from the engine.

Southwest said Tuesday that it would move to complete inspections within 30 days.

The FAA said Wednesday that it would order the inspection of some CFM jet engines following the deadly incident — which marked the first death in a U.S. commercial aviation accident since 2009.

The FAA mandate will require inspections of CFM56-7B engines that have flown a certain number of times.

Experts suggest that Southwest Airlines’ shorter flight cycles could be to blame for the wear and tear on the fan blades.

It’s unclear exactly how many engines will require inspection, but it’s expected to be more than the FAA’s initial estimate of 220 engines.

Former NTSB chairman Mark Rosekind said the safety board will investigate why the FAA never required the inspections it had proposed in August 2017.

“There did not seem to be an urgency” at the FAA to finalize the inspections, he said.

Tags: SWA safetycriminal negligenceoutsourcingprofiteering
Categories: Labor News

Zimbabwe: Government Dismisses 16,000 Nurses Over Strikes

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: TeleSUR
Categories: Labor News

Iran: Teacher unionist Mohamed Habibi released

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Education International
Categories: Labor News

Panama: National construction workers strike

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: BWI
Categories: Labor News

Bangladesh: Five years after Rana Plaza, the need for the Bangladesh Accord persists

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: UNI Global Union
Categories: Labor News

France: Rail workers press on with strike after lawmakers pass reform

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Reuters
Categories: Labor News

French Rail Workers & Their Fight Against Anti-labor Attacks With CGT Retiree Maurice Amzallag

Current News - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 11:21

French Rail Workers & Their Fight Against Anti-labor Attacks With CGT Retiree Maurice Amzallag
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DUMNBN6EW8A
Maurice Amzallag, a retired French railroad worker who was a member of the CGT, talks about the attacks on railroad workers in France by the Macron government and their fight to protect the rights of railroad workers and other workers in France. He also discusses the fight against privatization. This presentation was made during the Railroad Workers United RWU conference in Chicago on April 6, 2018.
For more info: www.railroadworkersunited.org
Production of Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org

Tags: CGTFrench Rail WorkersprivatizationMacronunion busting
Categories: Labor News

Fleet Memo for April 13 2018

IBU - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:16
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Categories: Unions

Global: Global ‘TripAdvisor’ for migrant workers takes aim at modern slavery

Labourstart.org News - Sat, 04/14/2018 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Today
Categories: Labor News

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