CTU commends South African dock workers for human rights stand

“South African dock workers should be congratulated for preventing arms getting to the Mugabe regime and their stand shows the crucial role unions play internationally in protecting human rights,” CTU president Helen Kelly said today.

South African dock workers last week refused to unload a shipment of arms from China destined for Zimbabwe, and the union’s road freight members have refused to truck the goods.  This action was unlawful under South African law.

“The workers thought it unconscionable to handle goods that were destined for the Mugabe regime, to be used against ordinary working people and the democracy movement.  But for this stand, these arms would be in Zimbabwe now,” said Kelly.

The workers’ sister union in this country, the Maritime Union of NZ, have sent a message of solidarity to the dockers’ union in South Africa, passing on the full support of New Zealand maritime workers for their stand.

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