15 countries – 32 ports
The trade union organizations of the different European ports want to express their deep distress and concern regarding the situation of the dock labor sector that has arisen from the actions of the European Union institutions.
First of all, we are outraged by the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union dated December 11, 2014. The legal judgment is based on facts which do not correspond with reality (the supposed requirement for all companies to be part of a pool and the impossibility of participating in the selection of port workers), which are the basis for questioning how the Spanish port system works and which are a way of imposing a fast and regressive legal modification. The whole is based on the supposed infringement of free movement of companies, when in reality there are foreign companies installed in many Spanish ports. This is simply a legal procedure in response to deep political motives.
Secondly, the European Commission has initiated procedures against the Belgian port system on almost the same terms as they did in Spain. Once again they are questioning the way work is organized, which has proved to be effective and useful for productivity, labor stability and the general interest.
The two realities which have been explained are not anecdotal nor coincidental, but they are part of a pre-established plan to attack the working system of dockers, not directly by the States and the employers’ associations of the sector, but by using the Court of Justice of the EU as the executing body by means of the European Commission. They are simply responding to the interests of some multinationals as well as some shipping companies.
In these circumstances, the only alternative which is left for the dockers, is to start mobilizing their selves to defend labour stability, employment security, the general interest and the system of social protection.
We do not renounce Social Dialogue and with respect to the antecedent, we - through the secretariats of the IDC and the ETF - request an urgent meeting with Mrs. Violeta Bulc, the European Commissioner of Transport in order to position ourselves with respect to the conflict that has arisen. We want to put forward that the so-called Social Dialogue with the European Institutions has actually been a social monologue, because they have been dealing with matters which are not of capital but of minor importance for the Dock workers’ sector. Once the European Commissioner of Transport summons us, we will also request her to invite the representatives of DG Move to attend the Social Dialogue meetings.
Therefore the trade union organizations present - affiliated to the IDC and the ETF - will transfer to their respective organizations the clear commitment to defend the stability of employment. If necessary we will organize more meetings, similar to today’s meeting of the Dockers of European Ports, to defend the interests of the dockers. We are against the attack on the rights of dockers in Rotterdam, the British, Portuguese, Slovene, Croatian and Norwegian ports, and the privatization of the Port Authorities of Greece, as related by the participants.Barcelona, January 20, 2015
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