Unions to continue Brazil port protests

Unions to continue Brazil port protests

A Brazilian judge has ruled that a terminal operator's replacement of union dockworkers at the Port of Suape is illegal, but the International Transport Workers Federation said that because employees may appeal the ruling, union protests at the port will continue.

The protests began this month after Tecon-Suape, a subsidiary of Manila-based terminal operator International Container Terminal Services Inc., moved to replace unionized workers registered through the local labor pool, OGMA, with its own workers. Dock unions responded with work stoppages at Suape and one-hour strikes at other Brazilian ports.

Kees Marges, secretary of the International Transport Workers Federation's dockers section, said the judge's ruling was "a major victory for the workers and their unions, but not the end of the dispute. Apart from the fact that ICTSI-Tecom may appeal, the workers do not expect the management to reverse and employ OGMA workers immediately. That's why they have decided to continue the actions, while the ITF continues to support them."