February 7, 2017.
The Spanish Minister of Public Works recently announced his plan to reform the Spanish port system across the board. He aims to enact a decree issued by the Court of Justice of the Union European Union, a modification which would result the sacking of at least 6500 dockworkers.
Their plan is to fire Spanish dockworkers at a rate of 25% of their full strength each year, which means an absolute extinction of their employment within three years.
Sacked dockworkers are to receive a severance packages of only 20 paid days per year worked.
"The Spanish Government threatens the growth of the Spanish economy and seeks to make the dockworker profession disappear from national ports," rules IDC General Coordinator Jordi Aragunde. Following this decree, the Spanish Minister of Public Works Inigo de la Serna announced he will not seek dialogue with trade unions to determine how to best carry out the mandatory reform of the Spanish port system.
This came as a surprise to many including the Spanish trade union Coordinadora, as his actions are a stark contradiction to the platform maintained by his predecessor Ana Pastor, who always sought sector consensus of both interested companies and unions before enacting changes that would inevitably affect both.
De la Serna´s decision to resist dialogue and assume an authoritarian attitude towards the inevitable implementation of a new Spanish Port System is viewed by port workers as a deliberate attack on their livelihood. "We feel cheated," says Antolín Goya, General Coordinator of Coordinadora, who adds De la Serna refused to provide any documentation about this new legislation to his organization, and that he insists on verbal communication only.
Since Brussels will only work officially with the Spanish government, De la Serna´s resistance to share these documents means that he is dictating the terms of this plan himself. ¨We have met with the European Commissioner for Transport, and we know that the Spanish Government´s approach to this law is much more severe for workers than the actual decree suggests¨ notes Coordinadora General Coordinator Antolín Goya. It remains for Spanish trade unions to raise support from other groups to resist this modification of the Spanish Port System.
With the support of the International Dockworkers Council, Coordinadora intended to initiate union actions across Europe to demand clear channels of communication and a seat at the table for port workers, to be able to discuss the implementation of a new Spanish Port System that does not destabilize the port sector and destroy Spanish jobs.
IDC supports Spanish Dockworkers in their struggle to defends their professions and protect their families from looming insecurity. IDC invites everyone to reach out to the Spanish Minister of Public Works, Transport and Environment to express your displeasure with his current policies: SEND A PRE-WRITTEN EMAIL (JUST SIGN YOUR NAME, AND CC IDC AT firstname.lastname@example.org) CLICK HERE!