Monday, 16 October 2017

Oslo Harbor declared POC!


I have been asked to post this by Svein Lundeng on behalf of the Norway Dockers
The International Transport Workers' Co-ordination Committee in Norway today decided unanimously to declare Oslo Harbor for Port of Convenience.
This means that the port in the Norwegian capital becomes the second on a global basis, that ITF believes is so grave in terms of attacks on dockworkers rights and the workers' pay and working conditions, that it deserves the port of convenience designation .
The reason for the decision is that ITF has revealed repeated violations of international laws and regulations that protect both port workers and seafarers.
- No improvement

The head of the Norwegian Transport Workers' Union, Lars Morten Johnsen, is disappointed that the port authorities and politicians in Oslo have made such a decision necessary.


"All of our federations in the coordination committee agreed initially that Oslo Port fulfilled the criteria for being declared a convenience port when we attended the ITF conference in Cape Town in June this year, and we also supported ITF. But the Norwegian federations asked ITF that no decision should be made before we had tried all the possibilities that were here at home. Therefore, we were given the power of attorney to make that statement ourselves, and since we have not seen any improvement, a unanimous decision was made today, says Johnsen.
The decisive factor for the coordination committee has been both breach of seafarers' freight handling clauses in their agreements, but also the unwillingness to use the registered harbor workers in Oslo port.
Unsure of the effect.
"It was a prerequisite for us not to make such a decision that the cases of social dumping at the port should stop and that we should start using the harbor worker again. If that happens, the coordination committee is ready to make a new decision to withdraw the statement Oslo Port has received as Port of Convenience, Johnsen points out.
He says that he expects the Oslo decision to be followed up internationally by the entire ITF umbrella, so that everyone will realize that Oslo Harbor has been declared a convenience harbor. However, what effect such a decision will have is a little uncertain.

"We do not have all the world's experience in ITF with POC declarations. It is only the oil ports on Barrow Island outside of Australia and Mogadishu in Somalia, which has received such a stamp earlier, so the port of Oslo has ended in a group that they should preferably not be in, stresses Johnsen, admitting that he is disappointed with both the city council and the port authorities .
"I had thought that the city council would cut through, not least since a clear decision was made to comply with the ILO 137 Convention on Labor," says Lars Morten Johnsen, NTF leader.
Roar Langaard,head of Oslo Dockworkers Association(Oslo Bryggearbeideres Forening) also had belived this.
- Breach of the cooperation agreement.
We thought a new city council would help us port workers, but it's only got worse. We feel deceived and also believe that this is a breach of the cooperation agreement between the City Council and the Red Party that port should follow ILO 137. We will address Red, says Langaard.
He believes the decision of the ITF's coordination committee was expected.
- This is not a wish from anyone at the port. We just want our jobs back, and I find it remarkable that there are dockers in other Norwegian ports, including Drammen where Holship is, but not here in Oslo. Now this has gone so far that the decision on POC for Oslo Harbor is deserved, "says Roar Langaard in the OBF.
Transportarbeideren has not succeeded in contacting Port Director Ingvar M Mathisen in Oslo Port.
From this article:https://frifagbevegelse.no/…/oslo-havn-fikk-verstingstempel…

Comment from Rødt(Red Party):
Monday, October 16, the verdict of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) concluded that Oslo port became Europe's first convenience port. "Unfortunately, Oslo's red-green city council policymakers do not understand the seriousness," said Red Deputy Silje Josten Kjosbakken.
The International Transport Workers' Co-ordination Committee in Norway today decided unanimously to declare Oslo Harbor for Port of Convenience.
A port of convenience, is briefly a port that attacks workers' rights. A port where the wage and terms of employment are not followed. In Oslo port this is demonstrated in the form of port workers being excluded from unloading and loading assignments, and underpaid seafarers are ordered to perform the work of the port workers. Oslo port is now, as number two in the world, "assigned" such a status.
"This is not just a nasty scratch in the paint for the red/green city council in Oslo, it's a disgrace for Norway. At the same time, the convenience harbor stamp could also have major consequences for cargo coming by sea. In addition, this could lead to the cruise industry wishing to go to other ports. Serious shipping companies do not want to associate with convenience ports, "says Kjosbakken.
Kjosbakken thinks it is a historic and dramatic situation in which the City of Oslo has taken a seat, but it seems that the city council does not understand the seriousness of the matter.
- At the beginning of October, an ITF inspector aboard the ship Ness, which was docked in Oslo. The ITF documented that the ship's crew (ie those who work at sea) were set to carry out the work the port workers had until recently. And so on without paying for the work! This case is the last of many such, documented during the past year.
It is Oslo Havn KF and Oslo municipality which owns the quays in Oslo. That is, they are community property. Private operators rent quays of varying sizes and operate these under leases. Common to all of them is that they must operate with sea-related operations - that is, it must come or go over the quayside. Roof tiles, salt, containers, cars, house modules and aluminum are some examples of cargoes that cross Oslo port.

"Although the operation of the port has been issued to private actors, it is the municipality of Oslo at the City Council for Industry and Ownership, Geir Lippestad, which is responsible for political responsibility for the conditions in Oslo port. This also applies now as the Oslo port has been declared a convenience port.

- The cooperation agreement between Rødt and city council parties in Oslo contains a point that ILO Convention 137 is to be followed at Oslo Port, that is, that port workers have priority for unloading and loading work. It is also approved by the Harbor Board. In spite of this, we still see excluded port workers and underpaid seamen set up to perform their work. Now we expect the city council to see the seriousness of the situation and show willingness to clean up, "concluded Kjosbakken.
From this article:https://rødt.no/oslo-blir-europas-forste-bekvemmelighetshavn

PORT OF FELIXSTOWE RAIL IMPROVEMENTS RECEIVE GO-AHEAD

The latest enhancements to Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe's rail connections have been given the green light by the Secretary of State for Transport.
The £60.4m scheme, jointly funded by Network Rail and Hutchison Ports, will allow up to 47 freight trains to run per day in each direction between Ipswich and Felixstowe.
Commenting on the scheme, Clemence Cheng, Executive Director Hutchison Ports and CEO of the Port of Felixstowe, said:
"Rail is an increasingly important differentiator as shipping lines and cargo owners look to remove carbon from their supply chains. The Port of Felixstowe already has the widest choice of rail services in the UK with 33 daily services to 17 different inland destinations.
"This scheme complements the investment we have made in rail capacity at the port and will allow us to offer an even greater range of sustainable distribution option to our customers. Over 100 million HGV miles per year are already saved by using rail freight from Felixstowe and we look forward to that figure increasing significantly in future."

Freightliner's UK Managing Director, Adam Cunliffe, said: 
"We are delighted that the Port of Felixstowe's improvement plans have been given the go-ahead which will create much needed additional rail freight capacity at the port.  As well as satisfying growing customer demand, the environmental benefits of moving freight by rail are significant, and we look forward to operating increased services once the enhanced rail connections are complete."
John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, added:
"Great news, GB Railfreight see this as a huge milestone in the development of a fit for purpose UK intermodal rail freight network. The Felixstowe Branch Line is part of a key strategic freight route through to the Midlands and Northwest. This new capacity connecting the Port of Felixstowe will result in increased modal shift and radically reduce the impact of road vehicles on our environment and public health."
Hans-Georg Werner, CEO at DB Cargo UK, said:
"DB Cargo UK are pleased that these improvement plans have been given the green light. This much needed additional rail freight capacity will allow for more competition which is good for the Port of Felixstowe and good for all rail freight customers."

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail's Route Managing Director for Anglia, said:
"We're improving the Felixstowe branch line to provide a step change for rail freight in Suffolk and beyond as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. We're supporting the growth of the UK economy by enabling more goods to be transported on the railway and reducing the number of lorries on the road. The work will also create a safer and more reliable railway for passengers travelling between Ipswich and Felixstowe."
Network Rail is delivering the project which will enable more goods to be transported by rail, supporting the growth of the UK economy, as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan. In the coming months, engineers will start clearing vegetation in preparation for building the second track.



What are the chances? Ship’s anchor spears torpedo off Britain’s south coast (PHOTO)



An merchant vessel carrying around 1,000 tons of fuel enjoyed a narrow escape when its anchor pierced an old test torpedo after coming to a stop off the coast of Portsmouth.
A member of the crew raised the alarm after noticing the highly-corroded ordnance attached to the flute of the anchor as it was being lifted from the water Friday.
Divers from the Royal Navy’s Southern Diving Unit were dispatched to the scene where they evacuated the majority of the crew before pumping the ship’s fuel into tanks furthermost away from the site of any possible explosion.
Explosive Ordnance Device (EOD) specialists then set about the task of disarming the weapon.  
“We directed the ship to use her other anchor to steady her, before lowering the fouled anchor, and the torpedo, to several meters below the waterline,” Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Campbell of the Southern Diving Unit said in a statement.
"Working parts inside the torpedo could be seen from where the anchor fluke had ruptured it. The entire bomb disposal team were professional and got on with the job in hand.”
After a seven-hour operation to remove the torpedo from the anchor, the device was taken to a safe area and lowered to the seabed where it was destroyed.
Further research into its origins revealed that it was a British-made device and part of a test range used around Portland Harbour in Dorset until the 1980s.
The threat of historic ordnance remains in coastal waters around the UK.
In February, an unexploded 500lb German bomb was found by a ship dredging in the mouth of Portsmouth harbor. The World War II-era device was later taken out to an area off the coast of the Isle of Wight and detonated by the Royal Navy.