Global ITF affiliates respond to calls for solidarity with MPWU members

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) affiliates have responded to a call for solidarity with members of the Maldives Port Workers Union (MPWU) over the alleged infringement of employee rights.

Earlier this year MPWU reported violations of their rights by employer Maldives Ports Limited (MPL). These included the dismissal of several workers and union leaders.

The ITF is now calling for President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik to instruct the management of state-owned MPL to enter into dialogue with the union in order for the problems to be addressed.

Recently, the President’s Office sent a letter to ITF claiming to have taken steps to address the issue, however it was labelled as “not convincing” by an ITF spokesperson.

President of MPWU Ibrahim Khaleel recently confirmed that a meeting had taken place with the President to discuss the dispute, however there is concern from the MPWU that the assurances made have yet to be put into practice.

Speaking to Minivan News earlier this month he said: “The president said that he would address the issue, however two weeks have passed and there has been no sign of negotiation and I have had no contact with the President’s Office.”

Unions from other countries including Germany, Liberia, Mauritius and Mexico have sent out protest letters and messages of solidarity.

Stephen Cotton, ITF acting general secretary said: “The ITF will go ahead with its campaign to mobilise its affiliates worldwide to pressure the Maldivian government so that its starts an immediate dialogue with the MPWU.

  1. “This should be aimed at resolving the dispute by reinstating the dismissed union office bearers and activists, recognising the union and negotiating to establish decent wages and working conditions in the ports.”