By Bruce Barnard, The Journal of Commerce Online, July 20, 2009
ITF calls for boycott to protest military coup, flags of convenience
The International Transport Workers Federation called for a worldwide boycott of Honduran-flag merchant ships to protest the military coup in the Central American nation.
London-based ITF said its call for action “is likely to affect the loading and unloading of the 650 ships flying the Honduran flag.”
The ITF called on its 656 member unions to take “peaceful” and “lawful” measures to put pressure on Honduras’s military government, which deposed President Manuel Zelaya in a coup on June 28.
“We have to put real pressure on the Honduran military to allow the country to revert to democracy,” ITF General Secretary David Cockroft said.
The ITF had already targeted the Honduran fleet as part of its long-running campaign against flags of convenience. It condemned the Honduran flag as “a low-cost cosmetic ship registration by companies with no link to the country and no intention of employing its citizens onboard.”
The boycott would hit Honduras’s two main exports – textiles and coffee, which are mostly shipped to the United States.
Honduras’s interim government on July 19 rejected mediation efforts by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias aimed at resolving the political crisis.
Contact Bruce Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.