zaterdag 27 februari 2016

Independent Protest of Dockers in the Ports of Antwerp (22-02)

The manifestation against the syndical leadership of the three biggest Port Unions in Antwerp announced by the independent committee Dockers Fight Back ("We are just a group of dockworkers, not connected to any Political Party or Union"), was perhaps not such a great success in terms of size and form, but nonetheless a modest success for the Dockers of Antwerp in their struggle against the reforms of the law Major.    

"We find that the Port Unions do not inform us very well while they sit in their ivory towers (...) Feel free to call this manifestation a wake-up call", states Filip Verbeek, a spokesman of this action. It is notable that the PVDA+ and the 'socialist' Union ABVV/BTB-Ports distanced themselves emphatically from this action and were very nervous to see whether or not this action would be a success for the Dockers. So the Union bosses were very happy to see that the number of Dockers was very low.       

When about 50 exultant Dockers armed with a flag and several banners walked from the local recruitment hall 'T Kot towards the office of the liberal Union ACLVB in the Londenstreet, this Union was still prepared to talk with the protestors. However, across the street the ABVV-Port office for unemployment remained closed for the whole day (in this office, Dockers without work can register themselves for an unemployment allowance). 

After the talk with the ACLVB-bosses the group followed by quite a huge group of cops and press, left towards the office of the Christian Union ACV. Along this route some pyrotechnics exploded. During the talks with the ACV-bosses "the well-known Union agent" Patrick Delrue shortly assed the situation with the Dockers (Patrick is known as the trust person of police and Union bosses during the national manifestation of the 7th of October last year - informant for the cops about rioting Dockers!). He took some photos with his smartphone, talked a bit and once the crowd moved towards the last stop, the ABVV Port office, he took an accelerated route towards the office. What did he do? Did he give a report to the Union bosses, maybe handing over the names of the participating men? Who knows? The longest conversations between the Dockers and the syndicates took place at this end point on the Paardenmarkt and the highlight of the manifestation, which by then was ended.   

Major Bart DeWever spared no expense to show his muscles, while he deployed a huge size of the Antwerp Police Core (one water cannon, a debris reamer, many arrest vehicles, mobile control chambers and much more). This is certainly a sign that (luckily) our 'friend' De Wever fears an eventual escalation.  

And why the number of protestors was so low? Maybe because of the pressure from the syndicates on the Dockers who sympathized with this action? Or maybe it was the rainy weather? However, we need to keep on following and analyzing these kinds of interesting developments around the Dockers.

We support these men in their struggle without and against the Union Misleaders!

At the start of July the European Union wants to enforce the new Belgian laws surrounding the pool of dockworkers, of which 1 April the design texts need to be on the desk by the European Commission. This promises to give new and more powerful impulses to the independent Dockers, so that the coming actions will probably have more potency and strength.

We fully support the demands of the Dockers!


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