Union Strike: Spanish Gov ‘Sabotage’


The Spanish government’s refusal to be part of the negotiations in the dispute over port labour reform has caused the nations dockworkers’ unions to strike from March 6, 2017. German transportation company Hapag-Lloyd has announced that all Spanish ports will be affected by strike action over a total of nine days next month.

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) as well as other employee rights' groups have condemned the Spanish government’s refusal to be part of the negotiations in the dispute over port labour reform.

According to the ITF, the unions have reported that the government’s “anti-democratic stance” has “sabotaged” talks. It added that the unions believe the proposed law as “harmful to the Spanish port industry and extremely damaging to the legitimate rights of workers” and that it ignores the recent agreements made between the Spanish employers’ association ANESCO.

Negotiations will resume tomorrow (February 28) after beginning on February 21 between ANESCO and the unions.

Many ITF/ETF unions have already shown support for the Spanish dockers, and the federations are repeating their joint call for unions who organise dockers to send a letter to the Spanish infrastructure ministry, pledging to “take any lawful action that may be required to support the Spanish dockers” if the government does not act.

Terje Samuelsen, ETF Dockers’ Section Chair, said: “This law seeks to aggressively and destructively liberalise the port labour market and goes even beyond what is required to put the system in line with EU rules. If our unions are forced to strike, we will support them and join forces with all other trade unions representing dockers.”

It's not the only strike action to come next month as members of the US International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) from the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts have called for a shutdown of all US ports.

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