Unions Call Ørsted to settle dispute with American dockers union

Unions from Denmark and Germany have joined an international delegation in the US to call on Danish windfarm giant Ørsted to settle its ongoing dispute with American dockers union, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA).

The news came to light yesterday by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) which claims that “the dispute stems from Ørsted’s refusal to recognise the ILA’s jurisdiction over loading and unloading cargo at the Port of New London, Connecticut.”

“Following successive attempts made by the ILA to reach agreement with Ørsted, the company continues to deny ILA members jurisdiction in a port that that ILA has represented workers in for over 100 years,” reads the ITF statement.

The delegation of international union leaders arrived in New York to amplify the ILA’s settlement demands.

The delegation, representing maritime workers across Ørsted’s European and global supply chains, joined yesterday the ILA in protests.

Last Friday talks broke down between the ILA, Ørsted, port operator Gateway, Eversource, the Connecticut Port Authority, the Connecticut Building Trades, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and representatives from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont.

Harold J. Daggett, president of the ILA, said: “The International Longshoremen’s Association is grateful for the powerful display of solidarity from 3F Transport, ver.di, International Transport Workers’ Federation and the International Dockworkers’ Council as we fight Ørsted to maintain jobs and protect our jurisdiction in the Port of New London, Connecticut and elsewhere.”

Karsten Kristensen, 3F Transport vice president, noted: “As a Danish trade unionist it is unbelievable that Ørsted US is not respecting the ILA and maritime unions. 3F Transport pledges its full support to the ILA and condemns Ørsted’s failure to respect ILA’s core jurisdiction of loading and unloading cargo.

“This same work is done by 3F dockers in Denmark who are loading the cargo headed to Ørsted US’s project in New London. We are here in the US meeting with the ILA, ver.di, ITF and IDC and together we are planning a global campaign against Ørsted.”

Paddy Crumlin, national secretary of Australia’s Maritime Union of Australia and president of ITF, pointed out: “Ørsted’s tactics in the US are unacceptable to the point that leaders from powerful unions in Ørsted’s operations are flying to the US to send a direct message to the company’s global leadership: take responsibility for this mess or face further escalation.”