ITF Condemns Use of Peruvian Navy at Callao Port
zoom The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) criticized the alleged use of Peruvian Navy troops as strikebreakers in the pay of APM Terminals at a meeting of International Labour Organization in Geneva.The ITF publicised what they described as ”the deteriorating situation in Peru’s port of Callao, where Netherlands-based APMT is paying for military forces to break a legally-ballotted strike by members of the ITF-affiliated SUTRAMPORPC union many of whom have now have received letters demanding they return to work or be sacked.”ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: ‘Things are going from bad to worse, with these threatened sackings and the use of navy sailors as strikebreaking mercenaries. Those kind of tactics would be unthinkable in APMT’s home country of the Netherlands, not to mention Denmark, home of its parent, the Maersk Group.”Crumlin said that the agreement is close, with the main sticking point being the fact that the workers are denied the medical benefits offered to administrative port staff, ”despite the risk of injury and exposure to hazardous substances involved in their work.””The strikebreaking began with seafarers being pressured into loading/unloading – something for which they are dangerously untrained and which is actually illegal under Peruvian law,” Crumlin said.”The ITF drew the risks to the attention of ship operators and seafarers and that particular tactic stopped. But it’s now been replaced by the rather shameful hiring of the armed forces to undermine their countrymen’s right to strike. This is what we raised at the Committee on the Application of Standards at the ILO, and we will not rule out formal complaint against the Republic of Peru to the ILO itself.”Peru’s Association of Exporters (ADEX) this week reported that Peru loses over USD 5 million a day due to the strike at Callao.