London, Copenhagen, New York – Hundreds of trade unions from across the world will join together in protest against union-busting measures taken by renewable energy company Ørsted.
Over 215 unions from 100 countries have signed an open letter to Mads Nipper, Group President and CEO of Ørsted, calling on Nipper to directly intervene and resolve the issues between Ørsted US and US maritime unions.
Unions affiliated to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Dockworkers Council (IDC) will today (20 September) deliver the letter to key Ørsted offices, as well as holding protests in key ports in North America, Europe, Australia and the UK.
Ørsted US has failed to negotiate in good faith, breaking promises to workers and union members represented by the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) in New London, Connecticut. Ørsted has also signed twenty-year contracts with anti-union shipping companies – a direct violation of Ørsted’s own Code of Conduct.
A company that prides itself on its green credentials, Ørsted is disregarding the workers involved in delivering its services. Seafarers and dockers are vital to Ørsted’s supply chain and ensuring the smooth delivery and continued service of Ørsted’s offshore wind projects globally.
ITF President and Dockers’ Section Chair Paddy Crumlin said: “ITF stand united against what is essentially union busting. We don’t believe that companies like Ørsted can call themselves green on one hand, while being prepared to exploit workers on the other. Climate justice and worker justice must go hand in hand. Today we are planning protests wherever Ørsted have a presence, so they can expect to hear from us loud and clear that union busting is not welcome.”
Harold Daggett, President, ILA said: “Ørsted cannot claim that this is a jurisdictional dispute between unions. It has blatantly entered into a project labour agreement with the building trades unions even after the ILA made Orsted aware of the scope of longshore work jurisdiction. Ørsted must respect the core work jurisdiction of longshore workers in its wind turbine operations and its failure to do so cannot be tolerated.”
Karsten Kristensen, Vice Chair of 3F Transport said: “This dispute has been caused by decisions by Ørsted US that go against Ørsted’s global labour relations. In all other countries where they operate, including Denmark, loading and unloading is done by dockers – dockers performing dockers work. Ørsted US cannot pick and choose which unions it works with – it's now time for Mads Nipper to step in and sort this out.”
Jordi Aragunde, IDC International Labor Coordinator said: “The IDC stands in solidarity with the ITF to defend ILA from this attack on dockers’ jurisdiction. We are united to defeat any company who question our jobs and tries to destroy dockers’ livelihoods.”
The trade union movement remains committed to protecting not only the work jurisdiction of longshore workers in the United States but also the work jurisdiction of dockworkers throughout the world.
About the ITF: The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is a democratic, affiliate-led federation recognised as the world’s leading transport authority. We fight passionately to improve working lives; connecting trade unions from 147 countries to secure rights, equality and justice for their members. We are the voice for nearly 20 million transport workers across the world.