Dock workers at the Spanish Mediterranean Port of Valencia have called stoppages on Friday 12th and 13th, according to Port Strategy. Depending on the results of negotiations for the new collective agreement for Valencia Port Longshoremen, these stoppages could be called off by late afternoon today.
The formal reason given is the non fulfillment of the 1995 collective bargaining agreement, which reserves the right of stevedores to receive and dispatch cargo. According to the port unions, the port stevedoring company, SEVASA, no longer wishes to guarantee such a demarcation in any future collective bargaining agreement.
SEVASA has reiterated its willingness to keep on negotiating with the unions and that 99% of the existing agreement could be rolled over unchanged into the new one.
The position taken by the unions has been heavily influenced by the recent ruling by the Court of Justice in Luxembourg that Spain must adapt existing stevedoring practices in its ports to bring them in line with agreed directives, which effectively means allowing competition.
As part of earlier negotiations, union representatives had wanted measures incorporated into the new collective bargaining agreement that would have further alienated Spain’s position in relation to the rest of Europe, not to mention with its own national ports authority.
The impact these strikes may have on the port operations of Valencia and other Spanish ports is yet to be seen. Most likely the berthing of some ships will be delayed, and the flow of container traffic in and out of the terminals may be affected.
Please be guided accordingly. RCL Agencies will report further updates once available.