Spanish Stevedores to Strike Again

Spanish portImage Courtesy: Spanish Govt, Puertos del Estado

Spanish dockworkers have decided to resort again to strikes across Spanish ports as a way of pressuring the government to restore stability to the sector.

The dockworker’s union Coordinadora (the Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar) announced the measure on May 9, following a meeting of stowage representatives held in Madrid.

As informed, the union plans to issue a strike notice, however, further details on the duration of work stoppages and their start date are yet to be defined. The said details are expected to be finalized next week.

The latest measure is being pursued due to the government’s failure to approve the necessary regulations for the adaptation of the royal decree to allow the stowage sector to be reformed, according to the unions.

Spanish Public Works Ministry said that the royal decree will be sent to the Council of State this week, in line with the envisioned procedure, once the necessary consultations and approvals from mandatory bodies have been finalized.

The regulation, which aims to establish an aid program for workers leaving the business, gave a one year period for the collective agreements to be adapted to the decree.

It has been almost a year since the Spanish government passed the decree to liberalize its stevedoring sector in line with the EU regulations, avoiding a fine of up to USD 24 million.

The port reform was highly debated by the country’s stevedoring unions that staged nation-wide strikes early June as they urged for job guarantees for over 6,000 workers.

After several rounds of strikes, the unions managed to strike a deal with Anesco, the employers’ association, which vowed to guarantee job security to all employees.

Responding to the latest strike plans, Anesco called for the new wave of labor unrest to be avoided as it would negatively impact cargo traffic in Spanish ports, stressing the logistics and transport sectors could not afford the harmful consequences stemming from work stoppages.

 Anesco urged the government to approve the necessary regulation as soon as possible providing the stevedores with certainty and sufficient time for collective bargaining agreements.

World Maritime News Staff

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