Spanish Dockworkers Hammer Out Deal with Employers, Strikes Called Off

Image Courtesy: Port of Algeciras

Spanish dockworker unions have reached an agreement with Anesco, the employers’ association, which vowed to guarantee job security to all employees.

The deal was agreed during a meeting held on Thursday in Madrid, a joint statement from Anesco, and unions including Coordinadora, UGT, CCOO, CIG and ELA said.

Both sides also agreed to open the negotiation of the Fifth Framework Agreement with the aim of improving the competitiveness and productivity of Spanish ports. The talks are expected to begin next week, lasting until the end of September.

For their part, the workers have offered the guarantee of social peace in all companies associated with Anesco. Hence, the unions have called off all announced strikes for the following month.

A new wave of 48-hour strikes had been scheduled for 26 and 29 of June and 3 and 6 of July starting at 0800 a.m.

The Spanish Ministry of Public Works welcomed the deal saying that the agreement “puts an end to strikes, returns stability to ports and guarantees security of employment.”

Spanish dockworker unions launched a nation-wide strike on June 5, impacting operations across the country’s 39 cargo ports as they demanded job guarantees jeopardized by the recently adopted port reform.

The dockworker strikes have had a major impact on the Spanish economy having in mind that the country relies on its ports for 80 percent of its total imports and 57 percent of its total exports.

Estimates from the ministry indicated that just the two-day strike launched on June 14 cost the country USD 123 million and resulted in 34 ships being diverted from Spanish ports.

Furthermore, aside to the economic impact, as companies diverted their ships to competing ports such as Sines, Marseille-Fos, Genoa or even further North to ports like Antwerp and Rotterdam, the competitiveness of Spanish ports has also suffered a major blow.

World Maritime News Staff

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