Ministry: Spanish Dockworkers Cancel Planned Strike

Spanish dockworkers have called off the announced strike after the government promised it would postpone plans to reform the port system and start negotiating with trade unions, Spain’s Ministry of Public Works said in a statement.

Earlier, Spain’s trade unions said they will stage the strike on February 20, 22, and 24, 2017, against the reform plan announced by Inigo de la Serna, the country’s Minister of Public Works.

The port reform plan would allow companies to hire their own workers instead of the unionized ones. According to the plan, at least 6,500 dockworkers in Spain could lose their jobs.

The decree, which is in line with a decree released by the Court of Justice of the European Union, was expected to be approved on February 17.

Following the minister’s announcement, the unions claimed the Spanish government had no intention to discuss with trade unions a potential solution that would best implement the mandatory reform of the port system in Spain.

As a consequence, representatives of tens of thousands dockworkers from the five continents sent letters to the Spanish union Coordinadora, to the minister, as well as to several Spanish embassies and consulates, urging them to find a solution to end the conflict.

Finally, the government succumbed to the pressure of the unions and decided to join the negotiating table with dockworkers on the reform plan.

Negotiations with workers are necessary because the government must find the best possible solution related to the port system reform.

If Spain fails to approve the decree, if will face a daily fine of EUR 134,000 (USD 142,700), according to the ministry. This would be the first time that this country has failed to comply with an EU treaty.

World Maritime News Staff

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