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Teamsters take argument to Maersk shareholders

20 April 2006

The ITF is supporting a move by the Teamsters union to ask shareholders of transport giant Maersk to vote for a workplace code of conduct at the company’s AGM in Copenhagen today.

The Teamsters are putting forward a shareholder proposal that would see AP Moller Maersk adopt a code based on ILO (International Labour Organization) Conventions on human rights that include bans on child labour, discrimination and intimidation, and guarantee the right to form and join unions.

The proposal notes that: “As a global institution, AP Moller Maersk and its international operations and sourcing arrangements are exposed to sundry risks. Adoption of this proposal manages the risk of being a party to serious human rights violations in the workplace. The company has operations in countries cited by Human Rights Watch as violating human rights pertaining to workers, including El Salvador and the United States of America. We believe that the Company could reduce risk and bolster investor confidence by adopting the ILO Conventions on workplace rights as corporate policy.”

The proposal recommends that the code be implemented by training the managers of Maersk subsidiaries. It also recommends that it apply all companies undertaking subcontracted work for Maersk, and that it be incorporated into an international framework agreement between the company and the ITF.

Yesterday in Copenhagen a meeting of trade unionist representatives of Maersk workers backed this latest move to ensure labour standards at the multinational company.  Speaking from there Niek Stam, Portworker Coordinator of FNV Bondgenoten and ITF representative at the meeting, welcomed the proposal: “At the core of the ITF’s beliefs is the drive to globalise solidarity and this is exactly what the Teamsters are doing here. Maersk needs to look at its behaviour around the world, seek out the areas where workers are not being treated with the dignity and respect they receive in others, and make improvements. There’s more to their business than just economics.”


For more information contact ITF press officer, Sam Dawson.
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7940 9260.
Email: dawson_sam@itf.org.uk

International Transport Workers' Federation - ITF:
ITF House, 49 - 60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DS
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7403 2733
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7375 7871
Email: mail@itf.org.uk
Web: www.itfglobal.org

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