Saturday, 15 September 2018

Oslo Harbor declared POC!

Posting this on behalf of Seven Lundeng

As the world's first educated POC inspector in ITF, Roar Langaard is part of the strategy for ITF to put pressure on Port of Oslo after the ITF declared the port as a Port of Convenience.(POC)

Roar is going to check if seafarers do dockers work.

The aim is to ensure that the Port of Oslo demands that port operators use the port workers for unloading and loading work.

It is the ITF's statement of Oslo port as Port of Convenience, which is the reason why ITF has chosen to establish a position as a POC inspector at Oslo Port.

ITF has documented many cases in Oslo where seafarers have done the dockers job, and the collection of this documentation will only increase in strength with a POC inspector.

Interesting and demanding

In order to make the job possible, Roar Langaard, who is also the head of Oslo Bryggearbeideres Forening(Oslo Dockers Union), has been sent to ITF's headquarters in London to make the best possible work.

First, he spent two weeks on the school bench before it became a week of practice together with the ITF coordinator in Norway, Angelica Gjestrum. Next week he will return to London.

"It has been very interesting, but also demanding since it has taken place in English. It requires more concentration, and it's been a while since I've been sitting on the school bench, he smiles.

Full ITF education

After the four weeks, Langaard becomes the world's first educated POC inspector in ITF.

"I'm going to be a bit of a test canine since this is all new, but the advantage is that I get the entire ITF education. This means that I can take regular ITF inspections on board ships, even though it is not my task at the starting point, he emphasizes.

He expects to start work at Oslo port when he returns to Norway after the last week in London.

"Then it will be entering vessels in Oslo. My main focus is to see who unloads and loads the ships. I will not necessarily board to check the papers every time, but I will write reports that will be submitted to the ITF coordinator in Norway, "he says.

Takes POC seriously 

He is impressed by the training he has received.

"I have always believed that the ITF is very serious and have noticed this at the course. It is very professionally set up, and those who have been retrieved as lecturers have been very good. It seems to me that ITF takes the POC campaign very seriously. The fact that seafarers do the work of the port workers is something that both port workers and seafarers lose on, he points out.

That the situation at the ports is a focus area for ITF, also appears through the lashing campaign that has started. It is based on the fact that lashing is to be done by the harbor workers, not the seafarers.

"That's why it's so good for me to get educated and keep an eye on both, and that shipping companies and port operators do not violate freight handling clauses in seafarers' collective agreements by letting seafarers unload and load ships," Langaard said.

Adds strategy

Currently, ITF has committed to Langaard to work as a POC inspector for three months at half position. The aim is that the documentation he is coming up with will put additional pressure on the port of Oslo to demand that port operators use the port workers instead of the seafarers for unloading and loading work.

Peter Lahay from ITF's Port Workers Section tells Transport Workers that ITF is centrally following the situation in Oslo, and that it is continuing to lay down a strategy for the effort to put pressure on the port.

"But when, where and how we will do that, we will of course not reveal," said Peter Lahay with a glimpse in the eye.

Dock workers accuse the Port of Oslo of social dumping Low-wage sailors assist in the unloading and loading of ships at the Port. The dockworkers are pissed.

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