Latin American & Caribbean offshore taskforce group launched to fight for offshore workers’ rights in the region


ITFITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) affiliated trade unions meeting in Rio de Janerio today (Thursday) launched a new Americas Region task force group dedicated to protecting the rights of Latin American and Caribbean workers in the offshore oil and gas sector.
As part of its aims, the new ITF Americas Regional Offshore Oil and Gas Task Force Group will campaign to retain and secure national cabotage and continental shelf jurisdiction in the offshore oil and gas sector.  Enrique Lozano from the Mexican Maritime Union (Orden de Capitanes y Pilotos Navates) has been appointed as the co-ordinator of the group.
Speaking from the meeting, Antonio Fritz, ITF Americas Regional Secretary, said: “This is a historic event. The Americas OTFG, backed by the ITF and its global Offshore Task Force Group (OFTG), will send a signal to governments and the hydrocarbon industry that cabotage in the region is here to stay and the ITF Global Offshore Policy will be fully promoted in the region.”
“Reserved national cabotage is a key element of the ITF’s Mexico City policy, and it is great to see that its benefits for countries and workers are being so vigorously upheld here.”
ITF OTFG chair Norrie McVicar  is also attending the meeting. He applauded the developments in the Americas region and congratulated the Maritime Union of Australia in the Asia-Pacific Region on its cabotage campaign and the defeat of the Abbott government yesterday in the federal court, which rejected its underhand means of deploying work visas for foreign workers.
ITF affiliates attending the meeting from Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, Guyana, Peru, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela also sent their congratulations to the Australian unions involved in the Cabotage campaign.