ITF: Spanish Unions to Stage Strike against Port Reform

Illustration; Image Courtesy: The Northwest Maritime Academy

 Spain’s trade unions plan to go on strike on February 20, 22 and 24, 2017 as a response to the government’s plan to reform the Spanish Port System, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) informed. 

Namely, as a consequence of the recently announced reform plan by Inigo de la Serna, the country’s Minister of Public Works, at least 6,500 dockworkers could lose their jobs in the future.

The decree is in line with a decree issued by the Court of Justice of the Union European Union.

What is more, the unions claim that the Spanish government doesn’t intend to discuss with trade unions a potential solution that would best implement the mandatory reform of the port system in Spain.

“We understand from our Spanish affiliate unions that they have been told by the government that it intends to approve a law which seeks to aggressively and destructively liberalise the port labour market. Unbelievably it even seeks to dismantle the current dockers’ registration system in breach of Spain’s international obligations under ILO (International Labour Organization) Convention 137,” Paddy Crumlin, ITF president and dockers’ section chair, stated.

“To add to the sense of the damaging, unnecessary and aggressive intent the proposed law furthermore ignores the agreements reached a few weeks ago between the employers’ association, ANESCO, and the unions,” Crumlin further said.

The ITF described the plans by the Spanish government as “beyond belief and a danger to Spain’s standing in the world.”

The organization welcomed the incentive by Spanish unions to resist the announced measure and said that unions have the ITF’s international support.

“Hopefully there is still time for the government to walk away from this rash proposal and instead engage in negotiations. On behalf of ITF unions worldwide we counsel it to do so,” Jacqueline Smith, ITF maritime operations coordinator, pointed out.

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