St. Kitts stevedores seek court order against association
The Stevedoring Association of St. Kitts said it will seek a court order to prevent ship's agents from using 'foreign,' non-union labor to work vessels during a dispute between the stevedores and the St. Kitts Shipping Association over pay practices.
The stevedoring and the shipping associations have reached an impasse over a union proposal to base longshore workers' pay on freight tonnage rather than an hourly wage. Negotiations reached an impasse just over a week ago, prompting a work stoppage.
According to a report in the Sun St. Kitts/Nevis newspaper, the stevedores claim that early last week ship's agents in St. Kitts had crewmembers help to unload containers from a vessel calling the port. The stevedore association said that unless the crewmembers had obtained work permits to work in St. Kitts, the practice would have been in violation of local laws.
The Stevedoring Association of St. Kitts sent a formal request to the shipping association to stop the use of ships' crews, and would seek a court order to back up the request, the report said.