May 25, 2017

Members will be aware from previous BNS articles (see edition 587 dated 16 March 2017) that stevedores in many Spanish ports have been in dispute with the port authorities about attempts to regulate stevedore services in line with European Union legislation. This has meant that there have been strikes and ‘go slow’ working for many months. Last week the Spanish government approved a law which would enforce such regulation for all stevedores and so strikes were announced for Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays from 24 May up to 9 June.

On Tuesday this week it was announced that the Association of Terminals and Operators had reached a preliminary agreement with the stevedore unions, as a result of which the first five days of the strike have been called off. The strike will therefore now only take place on 5, 7 and 9 June and on odd hours only. A further meeting between the parties is scheduled for 1 June to see if the remaining differences can be resolved and, if so, then the strike may be completely cancelled. Members are advised to contact local agents or correspondents for more precise information as the disruption will vary from port to port and may depend on the relationship between individual port authorities and the stevedores there.