Spanish ports face upcoming strikes

Spanish ports face shutdowns for several days in late February, as the Journal of Commerce reports.

Spanish unions plan to implement port strikes to protest government plans to reform the country’s port labor system.

The strikes are expected to take place between Feb. 20 and Feb. 24 and will impact the country’s top container ports of Valencia and Barcelona

The Madrid government has been under pressure to reform the dock labor system since December 2014 when the European Court of Justice ruled that its restrictive practices contravene EU legislation on the freedom of establishment.

The government reportedly will soon introduce a new law that will end the restrictive practices in the dock labor scheme.

Current legislation requires dockers to be members of a pool, SAGEP, in each port, which recruits and trains workers, and puts them at the disposal of terminal operators and other cargo operators. The law also mandates all firms providing cargo handling services to join and financially support SAGEPs.

Port operators can only hire “outside” workers if a SAGEP cannot provide sufficient labour or they are not suitable for the job.

The dockworker union has claimed the planned legislation will lead to between 6,000 and 8,000 job losses on the Spanish waterfront.

RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation and provide more details once available.