ITF Backs Nautilus Over Crew Replacement Plans

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has just announced its readiness to stand and support its Dutch affiliate Nautilus NL/FNV Waterbouw as it resists plans by marine services and dredging company Boskalis to ditch and replace 20 crew members on five vessels.

According to ITF, the latest plans would lead to the likely removal of 20 Netherlands nationals and their replacement by agency workers from other countries. It brings back to life plans that were previously successfully resisted by the union, with international support.

Nautilus NL/FNV Waterbouw national secretary Marcel van Dam explained: “Boskalis told us that between now and mid 2019 its Dutch Fairmount crew will be replaced by crew from cheap labour countries, employed by employment agency Anglo Eastern. If Boskalis continues to pursue these plans we will contemplate taking them to court, along with possible industrial action.”

ITF inland navigation section chair Nick Bramley added: “We are appalled to see Boskalis turn back the clock and recycle plans that were so effectively challenged last time around. The company’s profits – projected to reach EUR 150 million for 2017 – have been built with the help of its many crews around the world, and it is scandalous to see crew members being threatened with job losses in return.”

Nick Bramley concluded that it is difficult not to see this as a case of simple social dumping, and the use of potentially lower skilled, cheaper and less protected workers in safety-critical roles. “The ITF is ready to support our colleagues in the Netherlands in resisting this.”


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