Dockworkers in Durban port threaten boycott on Israeli chartered ship, Zim Shanghai

Dockworkers in the Durban Container terminal, Pier 2 refused to take part in the offloading of ZIM SHANGHAI (IMO 9231822), operated by an Isreali shipping line, Zim Shanghai in solidarity with the Palestinians of Gaza Strip and the West Bank and as a protest against what the unions say is the “barbaric Israeli onslaught on Gaza”.

ZIM SHANGHAI is berthed at DCT’s berth 108/09 in the main container terminal, after arriving in Durban last Wednesday night from Singapore and China.

Although on charter to Zim Lines since 2002, the 66,685-dwt, 4,492-TEU Zim Shanghai, built in 2002, is Chinese owned, the nominal company being registered as Fastsail Maritime, which is managed by Shanghai Costamare Ship management, based in Shanghai, China. In the convoluted world of shipping ownership and operation, Costamare, the real owner of the vessel, is an Athens, Greece based time charterer specialist.

The charterer of the vessel in Durban is Zim Lines, an Israeli state-owned company.

On Friday about a hundred protesters paraded themselves along Durban’s Esplanade with placards announcing their call for a boycott of Israeli ships and aircraft.

The protest followed a call by the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) on workers and trade unions to “refuse to unload [Israeli] ships and goods from sea and airports.”

It is understood that several Zim Lines ships in various ports around the world have been similarly targeted, not for the first time as this sort of action has taken place on several earlier occasions.

Anele Kiet, the union’s deputy general secretary said there would be lunchtime pickets in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

“Satawu members who work in the Durban port need to boycott the shipment. Indeed we have contacted our members at the Durban port, who have confirmed they will not be offloading the shipment,” Kiet said.


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