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Greece: Cosco is in violation of labour regulations, does not allow unions or collective bargaining, article argues

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Company response
22 June 2011

Response by Piraeus Container Terminal (part of Cosco) (see PCT): Alleged labour abuses at port - unions, collective bargaining not allowed, long stretches of work with no break.

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Article
20 June 2011

[DOC] Piraeus Container Terminal (part of COSCO) response to NPR article alleging violations of labour rights of Greek workers

Author: Piraeus Container Terminal (part of COSCO)

Piraeus Container Terminal [part of COSCO]...would like to express our disappointment and strong concern on the ungrounded allegations and unfair points of view in this article…Our ultimate parent company, China Ocean Shipping Group Company...is widely acknowledged as a good corporate citizen. COSCO Group…is committed to strictly observing “the Ten Principles” set by the UN Global Compact, which include protection of human rights…Trade union rights of workers are protected by the Constitution and laws of Greece…Establishing a trade union of workers in one company is decided only by the employees in that company. Neither notification nor permission-approval is needed by the Company…The salaries of all employees are higher than those stipulated in the collective agreements according to Greek Labour legislation and this includes allowances, additional fees for working on holidays, and night shifts.

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Article
8 June 2011

In Greek Port, Storm Brews Over Chinese-Run Labor

Author: Louisa Lim, NPR

Cosco doesn't allow unions or collective bargaining among its 500-plus Greek workers. The unions report that Cosco workers are largely unskilled and working on a temporary basis, with no benefits...During two visits last year…the labor inspection department noted four separate labor violations at Cosco's Piraeus pier…[T]he agency fined Cosco 3,000 euros after discovering dockworkers working on their rest days. In October, it found the same again, as well as discovering an untrained worker operating a lifting vehicle...The unions say there have been two accidents in one year involving straddle carriers, which they ascribe to a lack of proper training…According to…Cosco worker's account — and the Greek government's own investigations — Cosco has already violated labor regulations in its shipping concession.

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