Although port employees’ delegations decided to leave the European Social Dialogue for Ports meeting held in Brussels on March 1 due to developments in Spain, employers remain optimistic about the discussion process with workers.
“The employers’ delegations regret this decision and wish to remind that the competence of the social partners involved in the Social Dialogue for ports is a European one,” the Federation of European Private Port Operators (FEPORT) and the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) said in a joint statement.
Employers believe that the dialogue allows “constructive discussions” that will help the sector to continue to play its vital role in the EU.
The parties also said that the employers’ delegations remain committed to the social dialogue process at European level and believe it is the relevant forum for addressing issues such as training and qualifications, attractiveness to young workers, health and safety as well as promotion of female employment.
For this reason, the employers’ representatives decided to resume the meeting and to proceed with the agenda.
Among others, the employers’ delegations expressed their satisfaction about the future launching of a study on “The Changing Face of Ports: socio-economic impact of market-based and technological developments on EU ports”. The request for funding of this study has been recently accepted by DG Employment.
The study is expected to contribute to identifying the key challenges that EU ports are facing and how the industry is adapting to change and preparing for the future.
The next social dialogue meeting is scheduled for June 29.
Established in June 2013 by port employers and employees, the social dialogue aims at identifying challenges faced by the sector, improving health and safety conditions and raising awareness about the essential contribution of port stakeholders to the EU economy and its growth.
Around 2.2 million ships have called EU Ports in 2012. More than 300,000 workers are directly employed by port employers.