The ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) today described plans by the Spanish government to gut the rules that govern Spanish ports as beyond belief and a danger to Spain's standing in the world.
ITF president and dockers' section chair, Paddy Crumlin, stated: "The Spanish government is tearing up the rule book with a callous disregard for Spanish jobs, Spanish prestige and international conventions. Their plans go beyond belief.
“We understand from our Spanish affiliate unions that they have been told by the government that it intends to approve a law which seeks to aggressively and destructively liberalise the port labour market. Unbelievably it even seeks to dismantle the current dockers’ registration system in breach of Spain’s international obligations under ILO (International Labour Organization) Convention 137. To add to the sense of the damaging, unnecessary and aggressive intent the proposed law furthermore ignores the agreements reached a few weeks ago between the employers' association, ANESCO, and the unions.”
Mr Crumlin concluded: “The Spanish government is acting beyond sense and potentially beyond international law. Thankfully Spanish unions are mobilising to resist its determination to wreck social partnership in its ports. They are absolutely assured of our international support.”
ITF maritime operations coordinator Jacqueline Smith added: “As a result of the government’s extraordinary plan it will now face strikes in all Spanish ports on 20, 22 and 24 February. Hopefully there is still time for the government to walk away from this rash proposal and instead engage in negotiations. On behalf of ITF unions worldwide we counsel it to do so.”