ITF Press Statement: Spanish ports decision “a betrayal of Spain's dockworkers”

The Spanish parliament’s vote in favour of a royal decree to reform port labour rules has prompted a swift backlash from key trade unions.

Commenting on the adoption of the royal decree to "reform" of port labour that has just been adopted by the Spanish parliament (with 174 votes in favour, 165 against and eight abstentions), International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) president and dockers’ section chair, Paddy Crumlin, stated: "this is a betrayal of Spain’s dockworkers, and even of its national interests. What we’re looking at here is a piece of cynical horse-trading by political parties who don’t care what the effect will be on the human beings who work in these ports." 

He continued: “We warned back in February* that the government was tearing up the rule book with a callous disregard for jobs, Spanish prestige and international conventions, and what the consequences would be. The will now face a unified front of the world’s dockworkers supporting their Spanish colleagues.”

Terje Samuelsen, chair of the dockers’ section of the ETF (European Transport Workers’ Federation), commented: “This decision risks bringing into place a plan to aggressively and destructively liberalise port labour. It doesn’t even have the excuse of being in line with European Union rules – it goes recklessly beyond them. Unions are being forced into strike action. They will be supported by their trade union colleagues everywhere – the repercussions of this vote will spread far and wide, beginning with the ETF congress in Barcelona next week.”