Dockers and seafarers gathered outside the head office of a Japanese shipping company Dowa Lines in July 2010 against the firm’s anti-union actions. They demanded that the company sign agreements of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) for its fleet of 24 vessels.
It should be noted that though most of the vessels are owned or controlled by Japanese corporates, they are registered in places like Panama so that the owners can avoid paying the workers wages which are normally paid to such workers in advanced countries such as Japan. By registering their ships under such “Flags of Convenience”, (FOCs) they also avoid following the labour regulations in the country of ownership and are beyond the reach of any single national seafarers' trade union.
As a result of a week – long campaign of action in many countries such as Japan, Korea, the ITF was successful in forcing many vessel owners to sign agreements with their workers.