New Strike Wave to Further Cripple Spanish Ports

Spanish ports are facing another round of strikes as stevedores announced plans to strike next week as well.

Namely, the strikes are to be held from June 14th, 0800 hrs till June 16th 0800 hrs. In addition, dockworkers said that they would stop work at odd hours on June 19th, 21st, 23rd, resulting in only 50% of workable time.

Spanish dockworker unions launched a nation-wide strike on Monday impacting operations across the country’s 39 cargo ports. According to the representatives of the Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar (Coordinadora), a Spanish dockworkers union, almost 100 percent of workers supported the strike, which is over 6,000 stevedores.

Fears have been raised on what the strikes’ effect would be on the country’s port sector as shipping companies endeavor to reroute their cargoes to rival ports.

Alternative destinations used by firms included Portugal, Morocco and Malta, Reuters reported.

“Even more, the situation in most of Spanish ports will be affected by a poor daily production and causing medium/big delays in vessels’ operations,” Spain-based GAC sub-agent told World Maritime News in a statement.

However, the strike is not affecting tankers and liquid bulk cargo, basic essential goods and perishable goods, the statement further reads.

Port of Algeciras, the country’s biggest transshipment hub, is likely to suffer the biggest blow as companies like Maersk Line omit their calls to avoid delays in delivery.

The strikes have resulted from the conflict between Spanish stevedores associations and the government that passed a decree on liberalization of port services, putting dockworkers’ jobs in the hands of the companies that could replace them with cheaper labor.

During the recent talks between the union and Anesco, port employers’ association, the latter could not guarantee the security of all dockworker jobs, which prompted the workers to go ahead with their strike plans for this week.

World Maritime News Staff

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