(en) Brazil Workers occupies ships, army on standby (pt)

Andrew Flood (ANFLOOD@macollamh.ucd.ie)
Mon, 14 Apr 1997 15:41:57 +0100 (BST)

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[Background: More on the Brazilian docks dispute where workers are occupying ships and there is a threat of the army being sent in] A.F.


Originator: union-d@wolfnet.com

Santos Unions' Press Release 8 April, 15:00 hours

1 - The workers on board the vessels "Marcos Dias" and "Vancouver" are at their posts of work, defending them and demanding work. If force is used, whether by the Military Police or the Army, it would be the first time that armed force was employed in order to take workers from their posts, in a perverse and ironic inversion of what always occurs in strikes.

2 - The workers are not against modernisation. To believe in that is unfair or disinformation. What the workers wish is that such a process not be imposed and without negotiation, but with time to take into account the enormous social liabilities which it would represent. This is the same position as that of the World Bank, UNCTAD, CEPAL, and the ILO. The workers have sought such a negotiation since 1993 and, had this been realised, none of the current problems would be present. Documents in this regard were conveyed, personally, to President Fernando Henrique Cardoso on 6th April, during the opening of the Seminary of CEPAL (?).

3 - The workers wish the fulfilment of the Law of the Ports (8.630/93), of Presidential Decree 1886/96, of ILO Convention 137 (ratified and made law through legislative Decree 29/93, and Presidential Decree 1.574/95). All these establish that all work carried out in the ports, be they public, private or terminals, within or outside of organised ports, is the exclusive competence of port workers, regularly registered or listed in the organs for management of manpower, where those requiring services must request the necessary manpower for the task.

4 - COSIPA is currently exempt from 68 normal cost items in the port of Santos. The only tax which remains is the "Port Utilisation Tax" which pays for maintaining the navigability of the canal and other navigation facilities, and, even so, it pays at a rate of R$ 0,45 per ton, while the companies installed in the organised area of the port and the users of the public port pay, for the same purpose, R$ 4,11 per ton. In terms of costs COSIPA already operates today in conditions more advantageous than the world's most efficient maritime terminals. In relation to other Brazilian terminals, including those of Santos, it is a situation of manifest privilege.

5 - The workers' movement does not want to "prevent COSIPA from working with its own people" (as permitted by the Law of the Ports) as has been constantly affirmed, but indeed to prevent the excessive interest of a single company to compromise the credibility of the transition of Brazilian ports, which would tear up the Law of the Ports, which tramples on diverse international documents to which the country is a signatory. The movement is not against the political will of the Brazilian government to have more efficient and cheaper ports, but in its defense. The crisis is unnecessary and undesired by the workers. It only serves the exclusive interests of COSIPA.

Translation from Portugese by LabourNet http://www.labournet.org.uk *************************** About me -> http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2419/andrew.html

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