Rotterdam dockworkers have voted to strike in the New Year to protest potential job losses at the port’s new highly automated container terminals, the Journal of Commerce reports.
Talks between the FNV Havens union and the port broke down in November over employee concerns that increased automation at Rotterdam’s container facilities, particularly at the new Maasvalkte2 development, will lead to up to 800 redundancies by 2017.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority said that the container terminal companies located on the Maasvlakte and the lashing companies have offered the unions guaranteed employment for the next 4.5 years, which the union said was unacceptable.
The union has sent an ultimatum to their counterparts and in case an agreement is not reached after the ultimatum, the unions will call for strikes as of the 1st of January 2016.
The union is now reportedly demanding that its members are granted job security until at least 2022 for all employees who had a permanent job on January 1, 2015 at any of the container terminals, on top of an extension of special policies for older workers
The union is expected to call on its members to walk out for three days in January and three days in February.
Port of Rotterdam Authority has until January 6 to respond to the ultimatum. Unless they are met, FNV Haven says strike action will become inevitable.
RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation and report further updates once available.