Global unions meet in Frankfurt to hold logistics giants to account
23 May 2011
Two world trade union federations will meet in Frankfurt this week as part of their mission to hold the big five worldwide logistics companies to account - and will make their presence felt at DHL's annual general meeting in the city too.
The ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and UNI global union's joint global delivery network will meet on 23 to 24 May as part of their oversight of how DHL, UPS, TNT, FedEx and DPD Geopost treat their workers.
In a special event the day after the conference, 25 May, delegates will hold a rally at 08.30 outside the DHL AGM at the Kultur-und Kongresszentrum (www.jahrhunderthalle.de), and also put questions on the treatment of workers and their rights direct to the meeting inside.
The global delivery network has already built solidarity and aims to further expand union rights in the big five logistics giants. Its Frankfurt meeting is intended to deal with the companies on the matter of workers' rights worldwide, with the aim of ensuring that all their personnel are well treated and can choose their union and representatives, wherever they work in the world.
Ingo Marowsky, ITF organising globally coordinator, explained: "This meeting is about strengthening alliances. In the last year alone we have fought for and won the reinstatement of Turkish workers at UPS sacked by local management for, it seems, wanting to join a union, while DHL workers in Panama and India also achieved union recognition and collective bargaining agreements. At the same time, though, TNT workers in Australia have voted for industrial action seeking a fair contract. And FedEx workers in the USA are seeking union representation and an end to false self-employment."
He continued: "It is unacceptable to provide decent conditions and union representation in, say, the country in which you're headquartered, and evade these things elsewhere. We simply have to resist those kinds of double standards, and that is what this meeting is about."
UNI global union head of post and logistics, Neil Anderson, commented: "The joint ITF/UNI global delivery network is growing in size and influence, and is ready to hold these companies to account until all their workers are guaranteed the same fundamental rights. As we keep reminding DHL, the best way to achieve that is by a global framework agreement - a global player needs a global agreement."
He continued: "The question of labour relations is one that we will be vigorously putting to the company on the 25th."