Spanish Ports Bracing for Dockworkers’ Strike

Image Courtesy: Port of Algeciras

Spanish dockworker unions have decided to keep the call for strikes for next week in order to voice their disapproval of the recently adopted port reform by the country’s parliament.

The strikes are scheduled for the 5th, 7th and 9th of June.

Spanish dockworkers fear the new reform would result in massive layoffs and have protested against the lack of their involvement in the negotiation process on the terms and conditions of the reform. Namely, the government aims to liberalize the hiring process of workers at ports, which in turn is likely to result in firing of unionized workers and replacing them with cheaper labor.

Originally, the country’s union Coordinadora announced a three-week strike advisory during the odd hours on May 24, 26, 29, 31 and June 2, 5, 7, 9 following the passing of the royal decree. However, the strike plans covering the month of May were shelved following a meeting of around 200 stevedores from all Spanish ports with Anesco, port employers’ association.

Nevertheless, the latest move was prompted by the association’s inability to guarantee job security to around 6,000 workers.

International dockworkers unions had said earlier that they would support their colleagues with industrial action across European ports, however their response is yet to be seen after the latest strike announcement.

Container shipping companies are expected to start shifting their calls to alternative neighboring ports so as to avoid delays of cargo due to the strikes.

Danish shipping major Maersk Line already said that its latest fleet addition, the 20,568 TEU Madrid Maersk, will be omitting the port of Algeciras. Instead, the cargo would be discharged in Port Tangier for further connection to Algeciras.

World Maritime News Staff

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