The ITF and ETF have been supporting workers since an EU infringement procedure on freedom of establishment in ports, against Spain back in 2013. This week the proposal to liberalise port labour – putting thousands of dockers’ jobs at risk – was rejected by the Spanish Parliament.
ITF president and chair of the dockers’ section Paddy Crumlin said: “This just shows the power of the dockers in Spain and I congratulate them for making the government back down. Anyone who cares about Spain, Spanish jobs and its international standing knows that this plan stinks to high heaven. But it took the steadfast opposition of the workers, with international solidarity behind them, to make the politicians stand up and defeat this measure.”
ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith added: “It's clear that this is not the end of the attacks to conditions, so while the ITF congratulates the Spanish Dockworkers on their victory and thanks the hundreds of affiliates around the world who provided strong solidarity, we know we must prepare for the next round if attacks in Spain in the coming months..”
ETF political secretary for dockers and fisheries Livia Spera concluded: “The battle of the Spanish dockers is a battle for all workers in Europe. If the government had been allowed to get away with this it would have been yet another aggressive and destructive neo-liberal economic plan. On behalf of all workers in Europe, we congratulate our affiliates and all the Spanish dockers on their victory. We are proud of them and of their tireless struggle for a fairer transport sector in Europe.”