After negotiations between Spanish port workers and the ports have proven fruitless, the unions have now heralded more strikes in Spain during the rest of June.
In an advisory, Maersk Line said that the SL Illinois, MSC Ilona and Madrid Maersk would omit Algeciras on their current voyages and would call at alternate ports. The line advised that restrictions on cargo operations and opening hours would vary from terminal to terminal, and it is maintaining a list of the expected conditions at each location.
The Spanish port workers stayed on-site during the stoppage hours and maintained minimum-level services for refrigerated goods and other time-sensitive cargoes.
The first day of rolling dockers’ strikes at Spain’s seaports slowed cargo movement at Algeciras, Valencia, Bilbao, Seville and Santander. Dockers halted work every other hour beginning at 0900 hours on Monday, and both labor and Spanish government sources said that worker participation was at nearly 100 percent. The workers stayed on-site during the stoppage hours and maintained minimum-level services for refrigerated goods and other time-sensitive cargoes.
Shippers and carriers had hoped that a previous framework agreement between union representatives and Spanish port employers association Anesco would head off a series of strikes. However, leading dockers union Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar (CETM) has accused Anesco of abandoning its promise to forgo layoffs during upcoming port sector reforms.
The dispute stems from a recently approved decree law that deregulates labor arrangements at Spanish ports, paving the way for the substitution of non-union labor. The Spanish parliament voted against the decree in March after longshore unions threatened strikes, but it approved a revised version in May. The decree’s passage brings Spain into compliance with an EU court ruling that requires liberalisation, heading off the prospect of steep fines. Spain’s 6,500 longshoremen and their union representatives strongly opposed the measure.