Rotterdam port strike 1973

The various PONL-related facebook groups are great for keeping everyone in touch and people's recollections from the past are fascinating.  The following is an excellent example which was posted on the Facebook P&O Nedlloyd Friends group and which we reproduce here with the kind permission of the author, John Selsig: 

To my own surprise I found a ” historic historic” picture which must have been taken in the mid 70’s at the wooden cabins at the Unitcentre Waalhaven Pier 7 Terminal Rotterdam.  The terminal was actually a previous coal terminal and at the beginning of the Trio consortium started there 50% was still coal.  I still know the staff from L to R, Aad Koolaard, Bert Nijman, Rina Veen, Klaske Bosschaert, myself and fhe late Henk Nolte.

What a team and teamspirit, yes it brings back memories.

The Rotterdam Port Strike 1979 which lasted nearly 2 months which sometimes was a bit “ stressfull ” as striking labour intimidated fhe Unitcentre labour also to strike.

Also do not forget the times that the offices upon opening were filled with millions of “ longhorn beetles” which were ” flying over” from bulkcarriers discharging grain by floating grain elevators in the middle of the Waalhaven.

In those days the OCL vessels always arrived in the weekend as in Hamburg/Bremerhaven working 24/7 was not done.

Also at that time the ships usually remained from 24-36 hours in Port in order to handle say 800-1000 moves, which enabled some of the crew to visit the famous ” Monkey Bar”  at Heyplaat.

To be honest the Spare Ribs were terrific.

With many thanks to John Selsig for permission to use this story and his photograph here.


If you have a story from your time with the company that you would like to share then please contact