Dockers' solidarity helps push EU to hit Putin's oil

Commenting on the oil sanctions agreed as part of the EU's sixth sanctions package on Russia, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said:

“Oil is one of the main resources for financing the Russian war machine and its inclusion in sanctions is long overdue. Although the exception for oil delivered by pipeline, even if temporary, is regrettable given the grave situation in Ukraine. 

“These sanctions must though be accompanied by measures to ease the impact of the energy crisis on workers and business, such as a price cap and the refinancing of the SURE temporary protection mechanism that was so successful in bringing Europe through the pandemic. That would ensure continued popular support for sanctions strong enough to restore peace in Ukraine.”

The European Council has supported a ban on Russian oil deliveries by sea, and this comes after dockers and their unions across Europe fought for the right not unload Russian cargo, including oil, and in some cases, unilaterally refused to do so. Action has taken place in the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Commenting on the latest sanctions, ETUC Deputy General Secretary Claes-Mikael Stahl said:

“Dock workers across Europe have been bravely refusing to unload Russian oil for months now despite it putting them at risk of losing their jobs or facing legal action.

“Workers should never have been put in that position but their solidarity action has pushed politicians to finally start hitting Putin where it hurts."