Spain braces for series of port strikes

Spain braces for series of port strikes

With Madrid pushing dramatic port reforms, dockworkers across the country have lined up strikes on February 20, 22 and 24.

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has described plans by the Spanish government to gut the rules that govern Spanish ports as “beyond belief and a danger to Spain’s standing in the world”.

ITF president and dockers’ section chair, Paddy Crumlin, stated: “The Spanish government is tearing up the rule book with a callous disregard for Spanish jobs, Spanish prestige and international conventions. Their plans go beyond belief.

“We understand from our Spanish affiliate unions that they have been told by the government that it intends to approve a law which seeks to aggressively and destructively liberalise the port labour market. Unbelievably it even seeks to dismantle the current dockers’ registration system in breach of Spain’s international obligations under ILO (International Labour Organization) Convention 137. To add to the sense of the damaging, unnecessary and aggressive intent the proposed law furthermore ignores the agreements reached a few weeks ago between the employers’ association, ANESCO, and the unions.”

Crumlin questioned whether the new government legislation contravened international law.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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