“Alsa in Tangier clearly can’t stand the idea of their workers getting organised,” ITF stated.
Rabat – The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has called on the Alsa bus company in Tangier to take immediate action regarding the “concerted campaign to persecute union activists there,” said ITF in a press statement shared with Morocco World News.
Unite the Union (“Unite”), the UK’s largest union, has publicly backed this call.
In a statement, ITF inland transport section secretary Noel Coard said that Alsa workers recently started to work with the Moroccan Labor Union (UMT) to establish a separate trade union.
He added that Alsa officials subjected the workers to a “campaign of intimidation and persecution.”
According to ITF’s statement, Alsa offered the workers “incentives to leave the union,” before it dismissed UMT’s general secretary in Tangier, Jamal Al Sharfi, on Thursday. Al Sharfi faced “serious accusations about his conduct.”
“The management at Alsa in Tangier clearly can’t stand the idea of their workers getting organised,” said Coard. “Their behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not succeed,” he added.
In a statement to the UMT, Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “similar behaviour in the United States via their US subsidiary Durham and just as we did then, we will ensure it is immediately raised with their parent company, National Express here in the UK.”
In 2005, National Express bought most of the operations of Spanish transport operator Alsa, which manages buses in Morocco, Spain, and Portugal.
Unite and Arriva Durham County Ltd will hold talks tomorrow to try to resolve a payment dispute as bus strikes continue, according to Unite’s website.
“It is unacceptable for global companies who work with us well here in the UK to operate in an aggressive, anti-union way elsewhere across the globe.” ITF plans to “industrial, political and legal” actions to defend the UMT, starting on Monday.
Last July, amid a major boycott protesting high commodity prices, Alsa announced a MAD 1 increase in its ticket prices.
ITF represents 18 million workers in 665 transport workers trade unions across 147 countries.