Spanish dock workers strike: delayed but not forgotten

Spanish dock workers strike: delayed but not forgotten

Dock workers in Spain were expected to begin eight days of intermittent strikes on Wednesday but have since agreed to

Photo: IAPH

Photo: IAPH

Dock workers in Spain were expected to begin eight days of intermittent strikes on Wednesday but have since agreed to just three days after a deal was struck to protect jobs.

Unions have been incensed by the government’s decision to push through labour reforms that target port workers. The changes, mandated by the European Court of Justice, would bring collective bargaining standards in line with the rest of the EU and abolish Sagep, a private company that employers must deal with to hire stevedores.

Approved by parliament last Thursday, workers say the reforms display a “callous disregard for jobs” and could lead to “massive dismissals”.

To combat the changes, unions say they will conduct “go-slow” strikes, with workers laying down their tools during odd hours of the day on June 5, 7 and 9. Similar strikes in February hurt Spanish-based exporters like Ford—which produces some 400,000 vehicles a year at its Valencia plant.