Libya: A syndicalist step forward in favour of Benghazi port workers

July 14th 2019

On July 10th, Benghazi workers affiliated with the Libyan dockers' and seamen's union demonstrated in front of the Libyan Ports Company headquarters. In the presence of Nermin Cherif, president of the General Federation of Libyan Trade Unions (GTUFW), the workers protested against the contract signed with the National Authority for Investments and Maritime Services.

Following the demonstration, the president of the trade union federation and members of the main union of the Libyan Ports Company of Benghazi met with the Company’s chairman of the board, who in turn called for an emergency meeting with the union committee at the port on July 11th.

This meeting focused on the contract for use of Post No. 2 in the main port and the adjacent shipyard, signed by the Director-General of the Benghazi Seaport with the National Authority for Investments and Maritime Services. While the workers have suffered non-payment of wages for years despite their considerable efforts to revive the port's activities, this new contract made it possible to assign work to people outside the company, which is prohibited by law.

The union has called for either the cancellation of this contract or its amendment by adding new provisions ensuring that all work is done through the Company. The administrative side has received this proposal positively, pledging to settle the situation soon. The representative of the National Agency for Investments in the Maritime Sector undertook to terminate this contract if it posed a problem to workers and their rights, and to approve it only if guaranteed rights of workers are established.