Valencia stevedoring unions labelled inflexible

The Port of Valencia's stevedoring company, Sevasa-Sagep, recently put out a press release stating that “the lack of flexibility among stevedores” would lead to a reduction in the operating capacity at the port.

The accusations were made based on three public holidays taken on December 6, 7 and 8 and the concomitant delays to both hauliers and shipping lines that this generated.

The delays, which could have been avoided, follow a ruling taken by the region's government that December 7 was not to be considered a working day this year. As a result, the port stevedores changed the way casual labour was contracted, which Sevasa said was sub-optimal.

The unions declined to award any short term contracts for work on December 7, which the company interpreted as being inflexible, since it needed continuity of labour to guarantee service levels expected by both shipping lines and agents.

“In a sector where flexibility is key to ensure competitiveness, the rigidity of the system penalised all the port's users,” noted a press release.

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