International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) President Harold Daggett told global shipping companies planning to run autonomous container cargo vessels to any ports where the ILA is contracted not to do it: “They won’t be loaded or unloaded by ILA members!”
Daggett was responding to several recent news reports where shippers in Japan and Norway were testing crewless vessels that rely on satellite guidance and onboard sensors rather than trained, experienced mariners.
“Workers around the world are under assault from the threat of automation by greedy companies only interested in making money and eliminating workers who helped them build their success and companies,” the ILA president declared. “It’s got to stop, and my ILA will do what it needs to do to save our jobs and the jobs of maritime workers around the world.”
During its 2018 congress in Singapore, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) took a stand against the increasing use of automation within the maritime, rail and trucking industries. Several MTD affiliates belong to the London-based ITF, which includes nearly 700 transportation unions from approximately 150 nations.