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Trouble at the port: Verdi accuses Cosco of breaking wage agreements

Caption: Photo: Thomas Wägener

Will a precedent be set in Hamburg? Lashing containers is port work – the shipping company Cosco wants to have it done by the crew.

A feeder ship, which is currently still sailing in the Baltic Sea, is expected to arrive in Hamburg tomorrow, Tuesday, to load and unload containers. The Cosco shipping company , which holds a 24.9% stake in HHLA’s Tollerort terminal, has announced that it will have its own crew instead of port staff lashing the boxes. [ds_preview]

From the point of view of the Verdi trade union, however, this constitutes a breach of collective agreements. This is an attack on the safety and working conditions of the lashers who work for Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA). Verdi suspects that the aim is obviously to cut costs. The lashers on land reportedly receive higher wages than the crew on board.

Verdi: HHLA should prevent Cosco plan

Verdi is appealing to the terminal operator HHLA to enforce compliance with the Hamburg port tariff. The union now fears that the Swiss shipping company MSC, which wants to run HHLA as a joint venture with the City of Hamburg in future, could also resort to such methods.

According to the union, there are four lashing companies in Hamburg with a total of around 500 employees who work for HHLA and are essentially dependent on it.

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