Spain commits to stevedoring reform
The Spanish government has committed to complete the reform of its stevedoring sector by April 28 at the latest.
However, not yet clear is how it will resolve the problem identified by its competition watchdog of guaranteeing terms and conditions of existing workers moving from Sociedades Anónimas de Gestión de Estibadores Portuarios (SAGEP) stevedoring companies to the new Centros Portuarios de Empleo (CPE), which appears to be illegal under existing EU legislation.
Authorities in Madrid are speaking to those in Brussels to try and find an acceptable resolution.
Asociación Nacional de Empresas Estibadoras (ANESCO), the employers’ association, while applauding the government’s commitment, is still requesting legal certainty for stevedoring, albeit in exchange for increased competitiveness and a change in its management set-up.
In a statement, it said that the government’s decision to complete stevedoring reform represents an important step forward in creating the legal framework required and welcomes the unanimous support of all political groupings in parliament to get the job done.
Ornella Chacón, president of Puertos del Estado, has also put forward a proposal to set up a working group to address challenges resulting from the increased automation and digitalisation of terminals, given recent unrest among the workforce in respect of these areas.
Other potential strikes from tug operators have been averted, with the economic development ministry denying that it had been preparing to open up the sector to non-Spanish-flagged vessels.
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