The dispute between the Ports of Sweden and the Swedish Dockworkers’ Union at APM Terminals in Gothenburg that has resulted in industrial action has moved to central mediation on national level today, the terminal operator said in an update.
“Despite the agreement to hold further talks, the Dockworkers’ Union section 4 is, unfortunately, not prepared to withdraw its notice of strike action, which means that we may be facing serious disruption to our operations next week and the week after that, if the mediations are unsuccessful,” the company added.
Swedish Dockworkers’ Union served a new strike notice on May 3, saying they will stop all operation at the terminal for 24 hours on May 17 at 16.00 and on May 24.
In addition to the strikes, the union has also left notice of an overtime blockade eight hours before and eight hours after each strike.
The union earlier said that the inability to reach an agreement on their demands with the employers after several rounds of talks has led to the industrial action.
As disclosed, the main requirements include demand for a separate collective agreement and decision on how many persons can participate in a negotiation. They also contain other issues related to job satisfaction at the terminal.
The new round of strikes follows the initial 24-hour walkouts undertaken by the dockworkers on April 26 and 28.
“Overall, we regard it as a positive step that the mediation have now passed to the national level. As things stand, we believe that there is no other way of getting to a position where the Swedish Transport Workers’ Union is not the only organisation that respects a no-strike rule,” Henrik Kristensen, Managing Director at APM Terminals Gothenburg says.
“It is far too early to speculate on the outcome of the mediation. A complicating factor locally at APM Terminals is that, in the course of the dispute, the Gothenburg branch of the Union has expressed a wish to sign a collective agreement. This is, unfortunately, not something that we at APM Terminals can do on our own, since collective agreements are signed centrally with Ports of Sweden.”
In addition to the issue of a collective agreement, Swedish dockworkers put forward a list of 11 negotiating points, of which 8 still remain unsolved.
World Maritime News Staff