Spanish dock workers union

Submitted by syndicalistcat on March 19, 2014

I have a question about the current situation of the Coordinadora in Spain, the Spanish dockworkers union. My question is, have they been able to maintain their non-bureaucratic, assemblyist practice?

A bit of background. At the time of the big strike wave that smashed the old fascist unions after Franco's death, the longshoremen in Barcelona conducted a strike through a mass assembly. They bashed in the doors to the union hall owned by the fascist union & seized it. Although that strike was for re-instatement of a docker who was a CP member, members of the CNT reportedly gained dominant influence over the movement. They persuaded the longshoremen to continue the assembly as a union. This was how the Coordinadora federation was formed, with autonomous local assemblies in each port. They followed the old CNT practice of attaching the national coordination committee to a locality, and thus having the workers in that locality elect it.

When the system of government established bargaining councils were established, they followed the practice of those sections of the CNT who eventually became the CGT. That is, they participated in the union elections. But they did not allow their elected delegates to receive the pay provided by employers & the state under the Spanish collective bargaining system. They are required to give the pay to the union. They did not want members to seek election for careerist motivations. They also had, as of the '80s, no paid positions whatsoever in the local port unions. The only paid position in the union was the national coordinator....a position that was rotated.

From what I had heard back in the '80s I gather they decided not to affiliate to CNT or CGT because they did not want to be drawn into factional disputes which would break the unity of the assemblies.

I do know that in the 2006 union elections in Spain the Coordinadora received 80 percent of the vote of dock workers in Spain. I also know that in recent years they have periodically paralyzed the ports in strikes. I believe the other 20 percent of votes in union elections has mainly gone to the Workers Commisssions & UGT. What I do not know is the degree to which they've been able to maintain the assemblyist control & absence of paid bureaucracy.

Mark.

8 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It gets a mention here: http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=57085&p=595646&hilit=Coordinadora#p595646

I'm not sure if it helps much. I've looked for information on this before and not found a lot.

syndicalistcat

8 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sounds like the assemblyist structures are still intact. Says they still have no liberados (paid officials) and refuse "subsidies" (pay to the delegates). The criticism there is that it has "been emptied of content". I take this to mean that they are not as overtly revolutionary as they were in the early years.

On the other hand, I have noticed that during the last few years when there have been attempts to form "revolutionary blocs" of the radical unions to left of the "pactist" Workers Commissions & UGT, which have usually involved the CGT & sometimes CNT, the Coordinadora has sometimes been listed in these blocs.

Salvoechea

8 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In Spain there is a strong current of radical unionism not strictly anarchosyndicalist. It is made of different unions coming from other political and ideological background. Coordinadora is one of them. It has been living quite isolated from other unions since the 80s. In some general strikes it has no been part of them, remaining strictly in their workplace struggles. I think they might be kind of radical socialdemocrats, similar to STES (http://www.stes.es/) and SF (http://www.sindicatoferroviario.com/)

In recent years CGT is been gaining a small ground in some docks and shipyards (i.e. Valencia, Tenerife and Barcelona).

http://estibadores.cgtvalencia.org/
http://fetyc.cgt.es/category/mar-y-puertos/

Another radical union in Tenerife is also growing:
http://estibadores.cgtvalencia.org/2014/03/tenerife-deja-de-ser-100-coordinadora.html

CNT also has some members in a shipyard
http://puertoreal.cnt.es/es/secc-s-navantia.html

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

New thread on alasbarricadas: http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=61634

altemark

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here is a great 45 minute documentary on La Coordinadora, uploaded by the Swedish Dock Workers' Union (aside from the SAC the other large independent, radical union in Sweden)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg87F7q5YFc
[youtube]bg87F7q5YFc[/youtube]

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report on the Coordinadora's current dispute with the Spanish government:

http://www.idcdockworkers.org/en/home/8-noticias/691-unions-around-the-world-press-spanish-government-to-negotiate-modification-of-the-stowage-system-with-workers

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Coordinadora on facebook:

https://en-gb.facebook.com/CoordinadoraEstatalDeTrabajadoresDelMar/

According to this report nine strike days have been called, starting on the 6th March:

http://cadenaser.com/ser/2017/02/21/economia/1487701623_158495.html

Reuters report from a couple of weeks ago:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-ports-idUSKBN15O1J4

Key export chains in Spain could face major disruption if a long-running dispute between the government and the country's dock workers extends beyond a planned three-day strike next week, industry sources warned on Thursday.

The standstill will take place every other hour on Feb. 20, 22 and 24 at dozens of Spanish ports which employ more than 6,000 stevedores and handle an estimated 500 million tonnes of merchandise a year.
...
The strike was called after the Spanish government announced plans to reform the sector that were unpopular with the unions. The overhaul would allow companies to hire their own personnel instead of unionized staff, who earn 70,000 euros per year on average according to a PriceWaterhouseCooper study.

The proposals aim to bring Spanish regulations into line with the rest of Europe. Spain has had to pay about 27,000 euros a day in fines since 2014 due to its failure to reform the system in line with European Union requirements, a government source said.

The fines could more than quadruple if the reforms are not implemented quickly as the EU punishes Spain for delays, the source said.

However, unions say the planned reform rips up the rules that govern Spanish ports and protect workers.
....

Support from Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGHPvphk9UQ
[youtube]AGHPvphk9UQ[/youtube]

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A report from Tarragona on the conditions and pay of dock workers (in Spanish):

http://www.diaridetarragona.com/tarragona/81958/¿privilegiadosr-por-la-manana-ni-siquiera-sabemos-si-vamos-a-trabajar

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

RTVE Informe Semanal - Estibadores: ¿Carga o descarga? - Spanish TV report on the legal and political background to the dispute:

http://www.rtve.es/m/alacarta/videos/informe-semanal/informe-semanal-estibadores-carga-descarga/3925966/?media=tve

Radio discussion about the dispute (starts at 13 minutes in):

https://www.spreaker.com/user/radiocable/lacafeterasosestibadores

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://container-mag.com/2017/02/28/spanish-port-strikes-set-march/

Port workers are set to strike for nine days in March after Spain’s cabinet passed a draft law to liberalise the hiring of port labour.

The planned overhaul would allow companies to hire their own personnel instead of unionised staff, with proponents claiming the current dynamics allow union workers to earn up to 50% more than they would in a free market.

Inigo de la Serna, the industry minister, said: “This is the only economic sector where there isn’t free hiring in our country.”

Spanish port workers had previously planned a three-day strike in February before the government confirmed it would put its port labour reforms on hold and instead open talks with unions.

Yet, as of the time of writing, the decision by the cabinet means strikes are set to begin from March 6.

Currently, the Spanish government is being hit by an ongoing fine from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over port labour practices.

In December 2014, the ECJ ruled that Spanish legislation on dock labour, in which cargo-handling companies are obliged to employ workers provided by a pool company as a priority, contravenes Article 49 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The court fined the Spanish government €15.6m (US$13.3m) last year for failing to implement changes, also adding a €134,000 (US$114,000) daily fine.

Failing to implement reforms will result in an increase in the daily fine, according to de la Serna.
....

According to this CGT report (in Spanish) the first two strike days have been suspended, so I think that means the first strike will be on Friday:

http://estibadores.cgtvalencia.org/2017/03/el-gobierno-impone-servicios-minimos-de.html
.

A long interview (in Spanish) with a CNT dock worker from Barcelona (edit: from a union branch organising 'amarradores', I'm not sure of the correct translation but the workers dealing with mooring ships, as opposed to 'estibadores'. I take it they wouldn't normally be organised by the Coordinadora or have the same employers. I don't know how this corresponds to the way ports work in other countries):

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LQuinFT8u2s
[youtube]LQuinFT8u2s[/youtube]

.
Local press report from Algeciras on solidarity shown by local Coordinadora dock workers to other struggles:

http://www.elestrecho.es/2017/03/los-estibadores-algecirenos-se-convierten-simbolo-la-lucha-obrera/

Mientras algunos siguen centrados en criticar su sueldo o su modelo de contratación, el gremio de la estiba algecireña se mueve por la ciudad apoyando a colectivos muchos más pequeños y que aunque también están en riesgo, nadie les había dado ‘bola’ hasta entonces.

El mismo apoyo que en los primeros días de conflicto el colectivo de estibadores del Puerto de Algeciras recibió desde todas partes del mundo, es el que ahora los propios estibadores algecireños están devolviendo a quien necesita repercusión mediática para que despidos injustificados o impagos salgan a la luz y aquellos afectados puedan resolver sus conflictos laborales.

En Algeciras existe una pequeña empresa llamada Reparaciones Algeciras, fundada en 1998 y que en estos días y tras un reguero de bajas debido a la precaria situación de impagos, cuenta en la actualidad con cinco trabajadores a los que se les adeuda un total de cuatro nóminas y sumando. Estos cinco trabajadores llevan dos semanas concentrándose en la puerta de la nave que dicha empresa posee en el Polígono Industrial del Cortijo Real.

La imagen hasta entonces había sido tétrica, los cinco trabajadores se nutrían de un minúsculo grupo de representantes sindicales con alguna que otra bandera de UGT, con una nula repercusión mediática. La historia cambió radicalmente para estos trabajadores, cuando el pasado jueves 2 de marzo hasta cien estibadores del puerto de Algeciras se presentaron a primera hora de la mañana para hacer piña, mostrar su apoyo y de paso hacer que todos los medios de comunicación hicieran público el caso de los trabajadores de Realsa: radio, prensa escrita, medios digitales e incluso televisiones a nivel provincial.
....

5 months without pay: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=N58zcAEUiWc
[youtube]N58zcAEUiWc[/youtube]

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://www.munz.org.nz/2017/02/09/war-on-the-wharves-spanish-dock-workers-fight-government-absolute-extinction-agenda/

Spanish ports are battening down the hatches, bracing for massive union strikes against a right-wing government determined to impose casualisation at any cost.

Thousands of dock workers face the sack, to be replaced by low-paid casuals as temping agencies are allowed for the first time onto the waterfront.

“The Spanish government is tearing up the rule book with a callous disregard for Spanish jobs, Spanish prestige and international conventions,” says International Transport Workers Federation leader Paddy Crumlin.

“Their plans go beyond belief.”

According to the International Dockworkers Council, “their plan is to fire Spanish dockworkers at a rate of 25% of their full strength each year, which means an absolute extinction of their employment within three years.”

Some of Spain’s port employers are already licking their chops, telling PortStrategy.com that under the “free market” system of their dreams they can slash pay in half.

Other employers are less pleased, asking angrily why a full-frontal attack on labour laws is announced just weeks after successful negotiations established a new agreement for the years to come.

Barcelona port worker and IDC Coordinator Jordi Aragunde says “The Spanish government… seeks to make the dockworker profession disappear from national ports.”

“We feel cheated,” says Antolín Goya, leader of the Coordinadora port worker’s union.

Across Spain, mass meetings of dock workers have voted loudly and angrily to resist this attack.

Strike action will hit all of Spain’s ports on the 20th, 22nd and 24th of February.

“Hopefully there is still time for the government to walk away from this rash proposal and instead engage in negotiations,” says ITF maritime operations coordinator Jacqueline Smith.

“On behalf of ITF unions worldwide we counsel it to do so.”

What’s at stake?

Under the current system, Spanish ports require employers to give preference when hiring to dockers who are part of a local register of qualified workers, known as a SAGEP.

The SAGEP is funded by contributions from companies providing cargo handling services, who are required to be involved if they wish to use Spanish ports.

Unions work within the SAGEPs to ensure their members have secure jobs and pay commensurate with both their skills and the sacrifices they make working in a dangerous industry.

The proposed changes will replace this system with one in which temping agencies and global corporations compete to lower wages and claw back conditions.

Spanish ports are doing exceptionally well under the current system, with the port of Valencia handling a record 4.72 million twenty-foot-equivalent units last year.

The port of Barcelona increased its container traffic in the same year by 14.5% to 2.2 million TEUs.

Why now?

Spain is a member of the European Union, which has the power to force policies on member states that override their sovereignty and go against the wishes of their people.

In December 2014, the European Court of Justice declared the Spanish port employment system is against EU law.

The EU imposed a 15.6 million euro fine in July 2016. Years of governmental gridlock in Madrid had put a showdown with maritime unions low on the agenda.

Since then there have been additional daily fines of 134,000 euros.

http://www.nasaships.com/SitePages/NasaNews.aspx

Spanish ports workers have suspended the previously announced strike dates for March 6th and 8th. Strikes action to commence starting March 10th, 2017 as follows:

· Week 10 - March 10th – every other hour starting at 8:00AM

· Week 11 - March 13th, 15th, 17th every other hour starting at 8:00AM

· Week 12 – March 20th, 22nd, 24th every other hour starting at 8:00AM

· Bilbao Port will strike on the above days for 24 hour periods starting at 8:00 AM.

The protests continue to stem from European regulations to reform the country’s port labor system, ending restrictive practices surrounding dock labor.
....

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report on marxist.com:

https://www.marxist.com/spanish-dockers-strike-the-popular-party-destroys-the-rights-of-dockworkers-to-benefit-big-business.htm

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interview (in Spanish) with a Coordinadora spokesperson from Gran Canaria, on the negotiations and the suspension of strike days this week:

http://www.coordinadora.org/noticias/nacional/14817-en-diez-anos-nos-hemos-bajado-el-sueldo-tres-veces-y-la-leche-cuesta-lo-mismo

Blog post (in Spanish) from a teacher in Valencia on 'why I support the dock workers and why you should too':

http://jsmutxamel.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/por-que-apoyo-los-estibadores-y-por-que.html?m=1

TV report (in Spanish) from Cartagena, including support from Podemos:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CGTMk5d3S_8
[youtube]CGTMk5d3S_8[/youtube]

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Time-lapse video of graffiti art on a container at the port of Algeciras. The finished result is shown at the top of the Coordinadora facebook page, and also here.

¡Ni un paso atrás! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m2VPp3j5LAQ
[youtube]m2VPp3j5LAQ[/youtube]

.
Carnival in Algeciras: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bR1QsS7ExHA
[youtube]bR1QsS7ExHA[/youtube]

.
The propaganda war: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VlGPfpjnIEs
[youtube]VlGPfpjnIEs[/youtube]

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

altemark

Here is a great 45 minute documentary on La Coordinadora, uploaded by the Swedish Dock Workers' Union (aside from the SAC the other large independent, radical union in Sweden)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg87F7q5YFc
[youtube]bg87F7q5YFc[/youtube]

I've only just got round to watching this but really it's essential for understanding the history of dock workers' organisation in Spain. The current dispute is clearly just the latest round in a conflict that has carried on intermittently since the death of Franco.

Here's an academic paper on the Coordinadora from 1989:

Peter Waterman - Between the old international labour communications and the new: the Coordinadora of Spanish dockworkers

https://repub.eur.nl/pub/18927/wp61.pdf

Steven.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for all these updates, Mark!

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The view from the UGT and CCOO:

http://mail.statik.be/t/r-C664DA4285898E9A2540EF23F30FEDED

According to the marxist.org article above: "Union representation is held by the Coordinadora with 74%, UGT with 16%, CCOO with 8%, with smaller positions held by CGT, LAB, ELA, CIGA." LAB and ELA are Basque nationalist unions. I think CIGA is a Galician nationalist union.

The CGT Valencia dock workers site has reposted this article (in Spanish):

http://estibadores.cgtvalencia.org/2017/03/vientos-neoliberales-amenazan-la-estiba.html

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Blog post (in Spanish) from a dock worker in Valencia:

https://mundoestiba.com/2017/03/04/ni-un-paso-atras/

On twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/mundoestiba

Edit: there's a comment below the post from a dock worker employed on a different basis to the Coordinadora workers who says he earns three times less. There seem to be other workers in the ports with quite different wages and conditions who are not organised in the Coordinadora. I'm not sure how this works or how many people are involved.

Edit2: looking at the Coordinadora site I see they have a separate section for workers other than 'estibadores', and so they do at least aim to organise all workers in the ports:

http://www.coordinadora.org/trabajadores-ftp

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Reuters report on the suspension of the first two strike days:

http://www.reuters.com/article/spain-ports-idUSL5N1GF79F

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Article reposted by Coordinadora (in Spanish) arguing that there are alternative ways to comply with EU legislation:

http://www.coordinadora.org/noticias/nacional/14829-cumplir-con-europa-es-obligatorio-pero-caben-otras-formas-de-cumplimiento

'A brutal reduction of costs' in the words of an enlightening report from a Spanish business and finance site. It suggests a possible, if unconfirmed, motive for the government's move in JP Morgan and others looking to offload their interests in Spanish ports to COSCO, the Chinese corporation already involved in Greek ports:

http://www.icnr.es/articulo/el-real-decreto-sobre-el-regimen-laboral-de-los-estibadores-apunta-a-una-brutal-reduccion-de-costes

Por su parte, la Plataforma de Inversores en Puertos Españoles milita activamente para su aprobación. En esta última están muchos de los miembros de ANESCO, aunque no todos, pero la misma se ha convertido en un ariete para la expresión de las necesidades en particular de los fondos de inversión que operan en el sector. En especial los fondos de inversión y de pensiones agrupados por JP Morgan Assset Management Infrastructure Investment Group y la holandesa Dutch Pension Fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP que retienen la gestión del principal propietario de terminales portuarias en España, Noatum.

Esta última, originariamente parte de Dragados, fue vendida por ACS al grupo inversor. De acuerdo con versiones del sector JP Morgan, que adquirió el grupo por unos 700 millones de euros en 2010, intenta vender esa inversión que considera “madura” y tiene como principal interesado al grupo China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) quien solo cerraría una operación si no hay compromisos laborales. En cualquier caso sea este el comprador o no es un hecho que JP Morgan y los fondos quieren vender y hacer una plusvalía y que la llave para ello es la liberalización de los compromisos laborales del sector.

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm finding this hard to follow but it looks like the government has delayed attempts to get legislation passed until next week. I'm not sure what happens if it fails to get parliamentary support. It looks like the strike on Friday will still go ahead:

https://www.elestrechodigital.com/destacado/los-estibadores-aseguran-gobierno-margen-junio-aprobar-la-reforma-del-sector/

De momento, el IDC mantiene la convocatoria de un paro de tres horas (entre las 12.00 y las 15.00 horas) este viernes, 10 de marzo, en todos los puertos de Europa, y de una hora en los del resto del mundo, en solidaridad con los estibadores españoles. Se trata del mismo día en que arranca el calendario de paros convocado por los sindicatos españoles en los puertos del país.

So that's strikes in all Spanish ports starting at 8.00 and working one hour on and one hour off through the day. Also a three hour stoppage in all European ports from 12.00 to 15.00, and a one hour stoppage in ports in the rest of the world.

Interview (in Spanish) with Coordinadora spokesperson Antolín Goya on Canary Islands TV: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WqjuexMCO0s
[youtube]WqjuexMCO0s[/youtube]
.
Letter from a Barcelona dock worker (in Spanish):

http://diario16.com/familia-de-oxido-hierro-y-salitre/

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spanish goods face paralysis over dockers dispute

The trade of Spanish goods both in and out of Spain, and across the globe, face being paralysed over a dockers’ strike.

Dockers have threatened to walk out over plans to reform the country’s ports sector to comply with European Union legislation.

The International Dockers Council (IDC) claims the reform will result in around 6,000 job losses across Spanish docks and has called for negotiations with the government and port employers, which it accuses of pushing ahead with the plan without enough consultation with workers.

A nine-day strike, which was due to start on March 6, has been put on hold as parties go back to the table to try and reach a compromise. If talks fail, workers will walk off the job on March 10.

In a show of solidarity, the IDC has called for an international day of strike action on March 10, which will see ports in Europe stop work for three hours and those in the rest of the world for one hour.

But the IDC’s actions will not stop there. The organisation says that, together with its associated trade unions, it will also ensure that the ports of neighbouring countries will not be used for unloading cargo destined for Spain while the strikes are in place.

“This includes IDC affiliates in Marseille-Fos, France and Lisbon, Portugal and the ITF affiliate in Tangier, Morocco. Portuguese unions will also call on dockers in the port of Lisbon to ensure that no Spanish cargo is unloaded in the southern Portuguese port of Sines,” says the IDC.

“Furthermore, if this conflict is not resolved by the end of March, the IDC will investigate measures that will directly target Spanish foreign trade, both imports and exports.”
....

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Solidarity rally at Spanish Consulate San Francisco, Friday March 10

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/03/03/18796985.php

Solidarity Rally and Speakout In SF-Hands Off Spanish Dockers And Smash Deregulation and Union Busting
Friday March 10, 2017 12:00 noon
Spanish Consulate San Francisco
1405 Sutter St.
San Francisco, CA

Initiated By UPWA.info

No. 78 – Tuesday 1 March, 2017
FELLOW WORKERS
The Spanish Government is hellbent on attempting to destroy the most MILITANT and principled industry organised workers in Spain – the Spanish Dockers.

We must stand shoulder to shoulder with our Spanish brothers and sisters. I urge all member to read this leaflet from the IDC and to fight for the dockers of Spain and when the Branch calls on you, to support our fellow comrades. WE DO IT AS ONE!

IDC Response to the Royal Decree to Reform the Spanish Port System
February 27 2017. Last Friday, the Spanish Minister of Public Works announced his plan to reform the Spanish port system. He will enact a decree issued by the Court of Justice of the Union European Union, a modification which will result the sacking of 6,500 dockworkers. The plan is to fire Spanish dockworkers at a rate of 25% of their full strength each year, which means an absolute extinction of their employment within three years. Sacked dockworkers are to receive a severance packages of only 20 paid days per year worked.

"The Spanish Government threatens the growth of the Spanish economy and seeks to make the dockworker profession disappear from national ports," rules Jordi Aragunde, IDC General Coordinator.

The Spanish port workers ́ union Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar – CETM plans to hold industrial action in the ports of Spain for 12 hours during each of the following days: The days 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, and 24 of March, 2017.

It remains for IDC to raise support to resist this modification of the Spanish Port System. Following the Emergency IDC ZCO Meeting in Algeciras, Spain on February 28, 2017, IDC decided to take the following actions:

1. A unified action of solidarity with Spanish Dockworkers as they strike on March 10, 2017. All European Ports are to suspend work from 12:00pm-3:00pm, and all other ports outside of Europe are to suspend action from 12:00pm - 1:00pm.

2. IDC will stage a walk out of the Sectoral Social Dialogue on Ports Meeting at the European Commission on March 1, 2017.

• IDC will meet with ITF to collaborate in a joint action in support of Spanish dockworkers.

• IDC will work to ensure ports neighbouring Spain will not receive re-routed cargo turned away form Spain due to industrial actions [in Marseille, FOS, Lisbon (IDC); and Tanger (ITF)].

• IDC will ask Lisbon to hold actions in Sines to avoid further conflicts.

• At the end of March, if no changes have occurred, IDC will organize differential treatment/boycotts of strategic Spanish export cargo.

• IDC encourages affiliated members to reach out to/hold demonstrations at embassies abroad.

• IDC will continue to offer support to /Coordinadora/ and work to show Spanish dockworkers that they are not alone.

• IDC will make the situation in Spanish Ports priority for all IDC Zone Coordinators, who will be responsible for coordinating actions in their respective regions.

IDC supports Spanish Dockworkers in their struggle to defends their professions and protect their families from looming insecurity.

WE WILL NEVER WALK ALONE AGAIN!

In solidarity,

Jordi Aragunde
IDC General Coordinator

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.idcdockworkers.org/en/home/8-noticias/697-the-international-dockworkers-council-idc-goes-before-the-european-commission-and-withdraws-from-the-sectorial-social-dialogue-on-ports-2

IDC, March 2, 2017. Brussels. In an international expression of support for the current plight of Spanish dockworkers, International Dockworkers Council (IDC) General Coordinator Jordi Aragunde travelled to Brussels yesterday to tell the European Commission (EC) that the IDC was withdrawing from its Sectoral Social Dialogue process. The IDC has also demanded that the European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc take an official and unequivocal position on the Spanish government’s Decree Law, a proposal that would see the collective dismissal of all of Spain’s current 6,000 plus docker workforce, instead of leaving the matter in the hands of lower ranking European Union (EU) technocrats. The IDC has also questioned the Commission as to whether it agrees with Spanish Government plans, as set out in the Decree Law, to use public funds to pay for the destruction of stable employment on the docks.

Furthermore, the IDC has also called on Commissioner Bulc to abide by the commitment she gave to Spanish dockworker and IDC representatives last December that she would urge the Spanish government to establish dialogue with both workers and companies, a dialogue that she described as indispensable before any presentation of the Decree Law was made. Commissioner Bulc had previously indicated to union representatives that she would open direct lines of negotiation once the Spanish government had sent them the text of the Decree Law. Yet until now, she has not said a word.

In light of this, the International Dockworkers Council has given notice that it will no longer be taking part in the EC’s Sectoral Social Dialogue meetings, the forum where the highest level of discussion on the situation in the ports takes place between companies, workers, EU member states and the European Union. The IDC has also announced a series of measures that will strengthen the resolve of the over 6,000 Spanish dockworkers whose jobs are now threatened by the unilateral measures of the Spanish government.

The first of these is the calling by the IDC of an international day of strike action in solidarity with Spanish dockworkers. This day, to be held on March 10, will see ports in Europe stop work for three hours and ports in the rest of the world stop work for one hour. The IDC has met with leaders of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) to coordinate this joint action.

The IDC, together with its associated trade unions, will also ensure that the ports of neighboring countries will not be used for the unloading of cargo destined for Spain while Spanish dockworkers are on strike. This includes IDC affiliates in Marseille-Fos, France and Lisbon, Portugal and the ITF affiliate in Tangier, Morocco. Portuguese unions will also call on dockers in the port of Lisbon to ensure that no Spanish cargo is unloaded in the southern Portuguese port of Sines.

Furthermore, if this conflict is not resolved by the end of March, the IDC will investigate measures that will directly target Spanish foreign trade, both imports and exports. Solidarity actions will also be scheduled for workers at various Spanish embassies around the world, and IDC members are asked to anticipate the need to send representatives to Spanish ports to support the dockers there.

All IDC Zone Coordinators have since last Friday, the publication date of the Decree Law, given top priority to the resolution of the ongoing conflict that Spanish dockworkers find themselves in. In this respect, they are more than willing to negotiate with companies and political parties, as well as open dialogue that can reach a consensus that, one that complies with the ruling of the European Court of Justice and is not detrimental to the current workforce of Spanish dockers.

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm wondering a bit about the lack of response to this, both here and more widely on the English speaking left. I've seen a few articles from the left but not much. By contrast there's been plenty of business coverage from sites to do with shipping, logistics and so on, though some of it is fairly superficial. It's still possible that strikes will go ahead on Friday and the government will then back down or fail to get its legislation passed next week. If not then then the situation is serious all round. The dock workers can't really give in - if they did they wouldn't have much of a future. They handle most of Spain's imports and exports and there have already been talks between Coordinadora and the Canary Islands government about how the islands will be affected. Coordinadora has as far as I know been the main force behind setting up and running the IDC and I'd expect international support to hold up.

I suppose a comparison could be made with the Liverpool dockers dispute in the 90s but that involved 500 workers in one port, compared to over 6,000 workers across all Spanish ports. Coordinadora, incidentally, gave a lot of support to the Liverpool dockers, with contact originally made by an ex-DAM member through his Trades Council. If the PP government gets its legislation through and strikes continue then maybe we're looking at something more like the scale of the miners strike, but, I'd say, with a much better chance of a successful outcome. As to what people can do outside Spain the IDC has said that 'solidarity actions will also be scheduled for workers at various Spanish embassies around the world'. As the decisions being made are essentially political it may be that this kind of action will have some effect.

Any thoughts would be welcome.

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Photos from demo in Algeciras today:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Portuariosworld/status/839471936610709504/photo/1

https://mobile.twitter.com/Portuariosworld/status/839475429161463808

Report on the demo here:

https://www.elestrechodigital.com/destacado/algeciras-esta-estibadores/

Edit: another, more informative, report from Algeciras (in Spanish again). This points out that Algeciras accounts for something like a third of Spain's dock workers, and is a centre for the transfer of cargos between ships, business that could easily be lost to ports elsewhere. Here even the local PP are saying they oppose the government's position:

http://m.europasur.es/maritimas/portuarios-reivindican_0_1115888461.htm

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The strikes on March 10, 13 and 15 have now been called off. The first strike is now scheduled for Friday March 17. Report in Spanish here:

http://www.ondacero.es/noticias/espana/estibadores-desconvocan-jornadas-huelga-dias-1013-marzo_2017030858c0668a0cf2600f3f57a388.html

Statement from Coordinadora:

https://www.facebook.com/CoordinadoraEstatalDeTrabajadoresDelMar/photos/a.597519247083648.1073741828.592517537583819/733245380177700/?type=3&theater

Edit: report from El País:

http://economia.elpais.com/economia/2017/03/08/actualidad/1489004113_241872.html

Los sindicatos de estibadores desconvocaron este miércoles, por enésima vez,tres jornadas de paro, en concreto, las protestas organizadas para los días 10, 13 y 15 de marzo, según aseguró al término de la reunión el líder sindical Antolín Goya, que indicó que esperarán al debate parlamentario de la reforma.

Así, de los nueve días de huelga que había al inicio de la convocatoria, solo se mantienen cuatro de ellos. El primer paro será el viernes 17 de marzo, un día después de que se debata en principio el decreto ley en el Congreso de los Diputados.
....
Por el momento, el Ejecutivo sigue sin tener los apoyos parlamentarios necesarios para sacar adelante la nueva ley. Esta es otra de las razones de la nueva suspensión de jornadas de paro”, ha afirmado Goya, que confía en que el Congreso tumbe el decreto ley del Gobierno.
....

For now it looks like the government doesn't have the parliamentary support to get the bill passed, although this leaves the dock workers relying on some unlikely political allies. The first strike is now scheduled for the day after the parliamentary debate. I'm assuming that tomorrow's international stoppages have also been suspended but I haven't seen anything that actually confirms this.

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Graffiti at the southern entrance to the port of Barcelona:
"Ni un paso atrás CNT - CETM - IDC" ("Not one step back")

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/839774641866559488

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Photos - dock workers gathering today to support student protests. I think this is in Algeciras:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Portuariosworld/status/839776552543977473

Also in Tarragona:

https://mobile.twitter.com/estibaverdader/status/839813382886866945

https://mobile.twitter.com/estibaverdader/status/839775119937515521

In other cities, including Barcelona and Almería:

https://mobile.twitter.com/SoyCoordinadora/status/839810361230524417

Bilbao:

https://mobile.twitter.com/ni300dst/status/839874795307155456

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm assuming that tomorrow's international stoppages have also been suspended but I haven't seen anything that actually confirms this.

Confirmed here: ETF-ITC-IDC statement on the situation in Spanish ports

The ETF, ITF and IDC have joined forces to support Spanish dockworkers whose jobs are at risk because of attempts to reform the port labour system.

The three organizations have been working together since the opening of an EU infringement procedure on freedom of establishment in ports against Spain back in 2013. Two weeks ago, the Spanish Government unilaterally presented a Royal Decree on the reform, disregarding the result of previous negotiations between social partners. Consequently the three organizations have engaged in a series of actions to support the struggle of the Spanish dockers. Among these, an action day was planned for the 10 March 2017, to coincide with the strike called by the Spanish unions on the same day.

“Following discussions with our respective members, our three organizations have decided to temporarily suspend the announced day of action. The Spanish unions are making another attempt to see if they can succeed with negotiations and political influence, and we fully respect this decision. Our actions are meant to support them and we are obviously ready to rework our solidarity plans to meet the needs of their revised strategy.” said ETF Dockers’ Section Chair Terje Samuelsen.

The three organizations and their members in Europe and around the world are maintaining all their political actions to support our Spanish Comrades.

Jordi Aragunde, IDC General Coordinator added “We are certainly not dropping our guard: we are all very busy supporting members in Spain. Our aim is to support them gaining the right to a fair reform of port labour. They are not opposing the reform, but some of the terms set by the government are not acceptable: we are convinced port labour can be reformed without the need for huge job losses and replacing stable employment with precarious jobs.”

Paddy Crumlin, ITF President and Dockers’ Section Chair concluded “The global dockers’ and transport workers’ family will continue to demonstrate tremendous support to the Spanish dockers. This is an emblematic struggle against dogmatic liberalization of labour, and it affects the labour movement as a whole. We are following the developments in Spain very closely and are ready to support the struggle through any lawful means.”
....

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.leftvoice.org/Over-Six-Thousand-Spanish-Dockworkers-Jobs-Face-the-Axe

Spain’s entire workforce of dockworkers — over 6,000 workers — could be laid off in the next four years if a Royal Decree Law announced on February 17 is adopted by the Spanish parliament. This Decree Law is due to be put to a vote on March 9, when the minority government of conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy places it before the Spanish Congress of Deputies.

The jobs and livelihoods of the Spanish dockworkers came under serious threat on December 11, 2014, the day that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the current Spanish port labor system was at odds with the European Union (EU) Treaty. In particular, the Court ruled the current system violated Article 49 of the EU Treaty which deals with the principle of freedom of establishment.

Under the current Spanish port labor system, all dockworkers must be members of a stevedoring society, known as a Sociedad Anónima de Gestión de Estibadores Portuarios (SAGEP - Port Stevedores Management Company). These stevedoring societies are responsible for the recruitment, training and allocation of all dockworker labor to stevedoring companies. All terminal operators and other cargo handling companies are required to source their labor through the SAGEP system as well as financially contribute to it.

The system works in a similar fashion to the hiring halls of longshore workers in the United States. All work allocated through the SAGEP system occurs on a rotational basis, thus ensuring that dockworkers work in an environment that is relatively free from discrimination and favoritism. Employers argue that this system is effectively a “closed shop” which allows for the continuation of “inefficient and expensive work practices.”

It was this SAGEP system that was targeted by the December 11, 2014 European Court of Justice ruling. The Court ruled that the Spanish port labor system forces businesses from EU member states outside of Spain to register and take part in these stevedoring societies, which it deems to be in breach of the Article 49 of the EU Treaty.

Along with its ruling, the ECJ gave the Spanish government a February 2015 deadline to inform the EU of how it was going to comply with the European Court ruling, a deadline which the Spanish government failed to meet.

During the first half of 2015, the union that covers the vast majority of Spanish dockers, the Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar (CETM - State-wide Coordinating Committee of Maritime Workers, better known as La Coordinadora), met with stevedoring employers and the Ministry of Public Works to try and draw up a consensus document that would facilitate the adaptation of new legislation. However, this negotiation process was paralyzed by Spain’s ongoing political instability. The country has had two indecisive general elections in December 2015 and June 2016 and a continuing deadlock that was only broken in October 2016 with the coming to power of the current minority conservative government.

For failing to meet this deadline, the European Court handed down a fine to the Spanish government of 15.6 million Euro ($16.4 million) in July 2016 along with additional daily fines of 134,000 Euro ($141,000) for each day that this ruling was not abided by.

The conservative Partido Popular (PP - People’s Party) government has now moved to abide by the European Court’s ruling with its recent Royal Decree Law. This now infamous decree law which seeks to amend the Ports Act of 2010, was put forward by the Minister of Public Works Iñigo de la Serna and signed by the Spanish Council of Ministers on February 24. De la Serna claims that his decree will make use of the maximum amount of flexibility allowed under EU law to protect jobs and workers’ rights. But this claim could not be further from the truth.

De la Serna’s decree law would see the scrapping of the SAGEP system within four years. If adopted, this legislation would oblige stevedoring companies to only contract 75 percent of their labor needs from the SAGEP system in the first year, 50 percent in the second, 25 percent in the third and none by the beginning of the fourth year. The Spanish government would then have to subsidize the redundancies of the over six thousand dockworkers made redundant as a result.

Removing this system would leave stevedoring companies free to hire untrained, increasingly casualized and non-union labor in an industry with a union density of over 95 percent. If this was to occur, injury and fatality rates in an already dangerous industry would skyrocket, secure full-time jobs would be replaced with casual labor, and dockworkers’ wages could fall by as much as 60 percent. One consultancy report suggests that the average annual salary of 67,800 Euro ($72,000) — a figure disputed by dockers’ unions — would collapse to 26,934 Euro ($29,500).

Spanish dockers’ unions have pointed out that the current Royal Decree Law is in contravention of International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 137, which ensures the permanent and regular employment of dockworkers, the maintaining of registers for all categories of dockworkers, and states that registered dockworkers should have priority for all dock work.
....

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.leftvoice.org/Spanish-and-International-Unions-Strike-to-Defend-Spanish-Dockworkers

....
These strikes have been convened by a number of dockers’ unions. The most important is the Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar (CETM - State-wide Coordinating Committee of Maritime Workers). The CETM, better known as La Coordinadora, covers around 85 percent of all dockworkers across Spain’s 46 different ports. La Coordinadora has its roots in Spain’s strong anarcho-syndicalist tradition. All major decisions in this union are made in assemblies and all elected union officers still maintain their jobs on the docks and receive the same salary as their workmates.

Along with La Coordinadora, there are other smaller dockers’ unions that have footholds in a handful of ports around the country. These are affiliated to various union federations, including the Comisiones Obreras (CC. OO.I - Workers’ Commissions, historically linked to the Communist Party of Spain), the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT - General Workers’ Union, aligned with the Spanish Socialist Party, the PSOE), the radical nationalist Confederación Intersindical Galega (CIG - Galician Inter-union Federation) and the anarcho-syndicalist Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT - General Confederation of Labour).

Despite their differences, La Coordinadora and the dockers’ unions belonging to the CC. OO., UGT, CIG and CGT have joined hands in their efforts to fend off this fundamental attack to the Spanish port labor system.
....
Stop Press: Spanish dockers’ unions have now postponed the strikes that were planned for March 10, March 13 and March 15. This comes after the government’s delaying of the Decree Law vote for another week, and the port employers’ association ANESCO agreeing to meet with dockers’ unions. Nevertheless, the strikes scheduled for the 17, 20, 22 and 24 of March remain in place.

The IDC/ITF international day of strike action planned for March 10 has also been postponed to March 23.

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Article from a Spanish shipping site on the state of negotiations. Considering that this is business journalism it's interesting to see how damning it is about the government's position.

http://www.naucher.com/es/actualidad/la-rigidez-del-gobierno-que-impide-el-acuerdo-en-a-estiba-mientras-los-puertos-crecen/_n:6093/

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some more business journalism, this time pointing out the benefits of the government proposals to the balance sheets of investment funds with an interest in Spanish ports. JP Morgan and a possible sale are mentioned here (headline: "JP Morgan are rubbing their hands..."). A benefit to a few investment funds isn't the same thing as a benefit to the wider economy, and certainly not to the local economies of some of the port cities where the loss of large numbers of relatively well paid jobs can be expected to hit other business interests. This may help to explain some of the support for dockworkers from what on the face of it look like unlikely sources.

http://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/comunidad-valenciana/2017-02-17/jp-morgan-naotum-ports-estibadores-reforma-plusvalias_1333299/

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

An article from the same site on investment funds with interests in ports lobbying in support of the government proposals. Headline: "War in the ports. The bosses want to cut the pay of dockworkers by 60%".

http://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/comunidad-valenciana/2017-02-08/inversores-portuarios-lobby-liberalizacion-estibadores-recorte-salarial_1328122/

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Drawing by the daughter of a dockworker from Huelva

https://mobile.twitter.com/ana1981ole/status/840294143406538753/photo/1

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Video about the IDC - the International Dockworkers Council - in English, Spanish and French. Watch on youtube for English subtitles.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xgTUWGl2FmY
[youtube]xgTUWGl2FmY[/youtube]

.
The IDC and Spanish dockworkers

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cLPOYxClsfY
[youtube]cLPOYxClsfY[/youtube]

Chilli Sauce

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark, appreciate the updates!

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interview with Miguel Rodriguez from the Coordinadora (in Spanish)

http://deverdaddigital.com/articulo/21377/estibadores-orgullo-unidad-y-lucha

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Portuguese dockworkers ban work on ships diverted from Spanish ports between March 20 and April 3 (report in Portuguese)

https://www.publico.pt/2017/03/09/economia/noticia/estivadores-decretam-greve-aos-navios-desviados-de-espanha-1764588

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Getting the message across to the European Commission:

https://mobile.twitter.com/jordiaragunde/status/839849042783924225

I'm not on twitter myself but anyone who is may want to retweet this.

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dockworkers linking up with taxi drivers, transport workers and other groups with ongoing conflicts. I think this initiative may just be in Barcelona but I'm not sure.

http://cronicaglobal.elespanol.com/business/estibadores-taxistas-intersindicatos-plataforma-combate_69450_102.html

Estibadores, taxistas, transportistas y otros colectivos con conflictos laborales abiertos han creado Lucha Solidaria Obrera-Intersindicatos, una plataforma "de combate", que rechazará cualquier tipo de "concertación, pacto o paz social a espaldas de los trabajadores". La agrupación promete hacer "sindicalismo de clase" y construir un tejido productivo "propio, autónomo de carácter público y de gestión social".

La iniciativa nace de una reunión mantenida la pasada semana en Barcelona entre el colectivo de estibadores, la Plataforma de Transporte en Ruta Todos a Una, el sindicato de taxistas La Élite, la Unión Sindical de Controladores Aéreos (Usca), Cobas, UGT y los Sindicatos de Camareros de Adif y del Aeropuerto.

Pretenden dar apoyo mutuo a los conflictos abiertos que mantiene cada colectivo y recuperar la "dignidad y respeto de la clase trabajadora".

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Article from a Spanish leftist site about the postponement of strike action, with some criticism of Coordinadora tactics, including from dockworkers in the FSOC - the Frente Sindical Obrero de Canarias. I've no particular position on this and I can't say I understand much about the disagreements between the different unions.

http://www.izquierdadiario.es/La-Internacional-Estibadora-posterga-el-plan-de-lucha?id_rubrique=2653

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report on the postponement of strike action from portstrategy.com
("insight for senior port executives")

Europe-wide strike action delayed

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

TV report from Algeciras, Spain's largest port, on Canal Sur (in Spanish). The first nine minutes of the video deals with the dispute and what working in the docks now involves. Coordinadora get the chance to put their case. The employers' organisation Anesco declined to take part.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nSThBt6YZtQ
[youtube]nSThBt6YZtQ[/youtube]

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pipe Díaz - Ni un paso atrás (#SOSESTIBA)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt_fOLzqkKA
[youtube]Tt_fOLzqkKA[/youtube]
.
Pipe Díaz on facebook

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report from Las Palmas paper La Provincia on myths about dockworkers

https://www.facebook.com/groups/estibadoreslaspalmas/permalink/1894792937423864/

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dockworkers in Sweden

The APMT Gothenburg dispute. Watch on youtube for English subtitles.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt03FpimA5M
[youtube]Bt03FpimA5M[/youtube]
.
flyer on the dispute: http://hamn.nu/assets/files/English_Colour.pdf

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From 'O Estivador' the blog of the Portuguese dockworkers union, the Sindicato dos Estivadores e da Actividade Logística

https://oestivador.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/estivadores-decretam-greve-aos-navios-desviados-de-espanha-traducao-em-frances-e-ingles/

Estivadores decretam greve aos navios desviados de Espanha

Determining ground for the calling of the strike

These constitute serious reasons, determinant of this strike declaration:

We must note the brutal attack that the collective of Spanish dockworkers is under, with a contingent of more than 6.500 professionals, men and women trained in the best port sector training schools that we can find on this planet, threatened by a shameful and unacceptable collective dismissal, a consequence of a royal decree unilaterally approved by the Spanish government in office to allegedly comply with a sentence of the European Court of Justice (EJC) which considers the current working model agreed between the social partners in the sector to be illegal.

We consider it unacceptable that an EU government decrees the collective dismissal of all professional dockworkers in Spanish ports, one of the most professional and efficient groups in the EU, replacing them with the same or other workers with precarious links, which determines the deep degradation of their working and social conditions; To accept and agree with such a scenario would be to accept that the various European Treaties which uphold this Europe, many of which have not even been endorsed by the people of the various countries, legitimize, lead and compel to the dismissal, precariousness and continuous and progressive degradation of the life of the hundreds of millions of their working citizens and, consequently, of their populations.

We can verify the parallel and the evident effects of contagion of the labour deregulation of the port sector in Spain, with what has recently happened in Portugal and hasn’t still been object of correction by the present government, to be mentioned, as an example:

In Portugal, the previous PSD / CDS government, subservient to the financial interests of the powerful economic groups that dominated the national port sector, approved port work legislation without respecting the workers’ organizations that represented the overwhelming majority of Portuguese dockworkers, through which they have sought to liberalize the sector, to de-characterize the profession, to perpetuate the widespread precariousness and degrading conditions that permeate most Portuguese ports, by permitting the precariousness of port workers in a much more deregulated and permissive way than what the Labour Code permits, which, by the way, remains regrettable and incomprehensibly without being revoked or at least profoundly altered, even more so that it cannot be ignored that the previous government claimed that such legislation made Portuguese dockworkers “guinea pigs” of a degraded and misery labour model to be exported to the whole of Europe.

In Spain, the current government intends to condemn to the disappearance of one of its professionally most well-prepared groups, to lead to a collective dismissal of workers, in one of the harshest and most dangerous areas of activity, responsible for the sustained growth of Spanish ports and the positive impact that such behaviour of such a strategic sector of the economy has on its overall performance; Without conceding the results achieved through the dialogue process which the social partners in the sector have been maintaining for a long time, although it is well known that the unspeakable behaviour of the Spanish government is largely due to its subservience to the millions and to the ambitions of JPMorgan, one of the main owners of the Spanish ports, which will certainly be supported by other more veiled public expression employer forces, all of them eager to transfer a large part of the labour income to the capital side, hence increasing the inequalities to disproportionate gaps.

The Portuguese dockworkers represented by this National Union could whistle aside and pretend they forgot how decisive was the intervention of the IDC – International Stevedoring Council, the 100,000 dockworkers it represents, militants struggling in the active and constant defence of their profession, the action of their leaders, starting with their World Coordinator, always ready to fight on the most diverse fronts, be they through communiqués or letters of solidarity, interventions at embassies or the declaration and organization of strikes and their pickets, local or international demonstrations, but still and above all, cannot forget how solidarity actions in the field will always be decisive, as proved by the actions of our colleagues in Algeciras to maintain the quality of employment in Lisbon, with all the positive consequences that such a result will certainly have, in the future of workers from other national ports.

We do not accept to be “bought” by vouchers of 70 euros to dispatch more ships diverted from Spain and thus to collaborate objectively in the attempt of collective dismissal in course, planned by the Spanish government, in promiscuous relation with the capital without borders, to which it renders interested vassalage.

The international solidarity now enacted is a direct consequence of a decision taken by IDC’s world leaders at the grassroots level, an organization to which this Union, with pride, belongs, being bound by that decision, or by having directly contributed to the formation of the collective will underlying it, or because it fully agrees with the purposes it intends to achieve with it.

Interview in Portuguese with Lisbon dockworkers leader António Mariano on the formation of SEAL as a new national union:

https://ionline.sapo.pt/artigo/547378/antonio-mariano-so-um-sindicato-nacional-pode-combater-por-melhores-condicoes-de-trabalho-?seccao=Portugal_i

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Blog post from a dockworker in Algeciras

Comida con amigos…

Cuando ya estamos con la comida en la mesa, llegamos al punto donde nos encontramos ahora mismo, hoy es lunes, otro lunes más de incertidumbre, otra semana más de estrés y dudas, dudas sobre si los partidos políticos de la oposición que hasta ahora apoyan a los estibadores españoles seguirán con el NO al Decreto, dudas sobre si se presentará por fin esta semana a votación, o si el señor Ministro seguirá estirando la cuerda del tiempo a ver si algún partido empieza a sufrir la presión que están ejerciendo. Dudas sobre el futuro de nuestra forma de vida y las consecuencias a las que nos pueden llevar estos señores…

Roughly translated: "...today is Monday, another Monday of uncertainty, another week of stress and doubts, doubts about whether the opposition parties which up to now have supported the Spanish dockworkers will continue with the NO to the decree, doubts about whether it will finally be put to the vote this week, or if the Minister will carry on stringing things out to see if some party starts to feel the pressure they're putting on. Doubts about the future of our way of life and the consequences these gentlemen can lead us to..."

Mark.

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Article in Spanish on dockworkers struggles during the transition, from 1976 to 1986

Las luchas obreras autónomas en los puertos durante la transición

Also this radio broadcast

http://anabasis.radioqk.org/110-lucha-autonoma-en-el-puerto-de-barcelona-1976-1986/

Hablamos con Francisco Aroca de las luchas en las que participó como estibador del Puerto de Barcelona, que han tendido a verse como el epílogo de la autonomía obrera en la Transacción española: el trabajo en los puertos ayer y hoy, la repercusión de la jornada de lucha de la C.O.S. en noviembre de 1976 y la cristalización de la Organización de Estibadores Portuarios de Barcelona como instrumento de lucha asambleario, autónomo y anticapitalista, su extensión al resto del Estado como Coordinadora y sus ramificaciones internacionales, su relación con otras luchas del momento, su degeneración; la lucha contra la “reconversión” del trabajo portuario en 1980-81 y 1986 con los gobiernos de UCD y del PSOE, la huelga selectiva y la socialización del salario, la represión patronal, policial y mediática, el órgano de expresión La Estiba, etc.

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report from a shipping site on the state of negotiations (in Spanish). In summary Iñigo de la Serna, the minister responsible, is still hoping to get the PSOE to vote with the government on Thursday morning. The PSOE abstaining would be enough for the decree to be passed. He's offered assurances that jobs would still be secure, without any real explanation as to how this would work. The European Commission has indicated that there's still time to negotiate. In the opinion of the journalist; "Hay tiempo y este compromiso es algo que los grupos de la oposición deben tener my claro antes de creer las mentiras del ministerio." ~ "There's time and this commitment is something the opposition groups should be very clear about before they believe the lies from the ministry." Given this kind of coverage it may be hard at this point for any of the opposition parties to be seen to be backing the government.

http://www.naucher.com/es/actualidad/reves-de-la-comision-europea-al-ministerio-de-fomento-en-el-conflicto-de-la-estiba/_n:6114/

Press statement (in Spanish) from the Coordinadora, rejecting assurances from de la Serna.

http://www.coordinadora.org/noticias/coordinadora-cetm/14883-esta-semana-no-habra-acuerdo-en-la-estiba-porque-el-gobierno-no-ha-convocado-la-mesa-de-negociacion-solicitada-por-patronal-y-trabajadores

Report on the dispute and interview with Coordinadora president Antolín Goya from Canary Islands TV.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NFPUYaD1uCw
[youtube]NFPUYaD1uCw[/youtube]

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This report suggests the decree could be passed by 174 votes to 173, depending on last minute political deals and which deputies are out of the country or ill.

http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2017/03/15/actualidad/1489564931_656062.html

Press statement from Coordinadora on the government's latest manoeuvres.

http://www.coordinadora.org/noticias/14-cabecera/14890-estupefaccion-entre-los-estibadores-ante-el-anuncio-del-ministro-sobre-la-participacion-de-fomento-en-la-reunion-tecnica-a-la-que-no-estan-convocados-los-representantes-de-los-trabajadores

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Coordinadora twitter feed: https://mobile.twitter.com/SoyCoordinadora

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's still going on but it looks clear that the government is going to lose the vote.

Report from El País

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Following the debate in Algeciras:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Portuariosworld/status/842333492226727939

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report updated a couple of days ago. It isn't great but it's in English.

Spanish dockers rebel over EU port liberalization

I've been looking for English language coverage of today's debate and vote and haven't found anything despite its importance. I'm wondering if this is partly because it doesn't fit easily into a pre-existing media narrative. It will be interesting to see what reports come out later.

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The government has lost the vote:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Juanmi_News/status/842352598854299649/video/1
Yes 142, No 175, Abstentions 33

https://mobile.twitter.com/MLSCH17/status/842346064921407489/photo/1

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report from El País:

El Gobierno fracasa y no logra convalidar el decreto de los estibadores

Apparently this is the first time a decree has been voted down by Congress since 1979. The government got the support of the Basque nationalist PNV but the liberal right Ciudadanos abstained after saying last night that they would vote with the government.

Other Spanish media reports:

El Congreso tumba el decreto de reforma de la estiba

Los estibadores desconvocan los paros tras el rechazo del Congreso a la reforma del sector

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Photos: press conference outside Congress

https://mobile.twitter.com/SoyCoordinadora/status/842352992972075009

Reactions from the dockworkers inside:

https://mobile.twitter.com/SoyCoordinadora/status/842366935790702592

https://mobile.twitter.com/SoyCoordinadora/status/842367267874721792

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Statement from Coordinadora

The strikes scheduled for tomorrow and for alternate days next week have been called off and negotiations will continue.

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Reaction on twitter:

https://mobile.twitter.com/JaviViadero/status/842358493021671424

Podéis seguir criticando a los estibadores, o podéis tomar ejemplo.
Eso va a diferenciar a los gilipollas del resto de personas

Roughly: 'You can carry on criticising the dockworkers, or you can take them as an example. That's going to be a way to tell the difference between the dickheads and the rest of the people.'

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Reuters report:

http://in.reuters.com/article/spain-ports-idINL5N1GT41T

Spanish opposition parties voted down a government decree aimed at reforming restrictive labour practices at the country's ports, marking a setback for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he tries to find allies in a fractured parliament.

It is the first time a so-called royal decree has been rejected in parliament since the late 1970s...

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've posted a short news report on today's vote:

https://libcom.org/news/spanish-government-loses-vote-dockworkers-employment-reform-16032017

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Blog post on today's vote:

https://mundoestiba.com/2017/03/16/el-dia-de-iniesta/

Todos los estibadores, desde el primer hasta el último, representados en esa tribuna, y muy bien representados, todos hemos metido el gol que nos daba el triunfo del día, tumbar un Real Decreto Ley, algo insólito desde el año 1979, en plena transición. De La Serna fue valiente, mucho, y fracasó, el pueblo habló, y ganó, como antaño. Ahí estaba el gol en la prorroga. Historia.

Ahora bien, por desgracia no era gol que te da un mundial, era el gol que te hace pasar de ronda, a otro partido, con otros rivales, agresivos, de corbata, dónde tu eres el número, y no, amigo no, no eres rentable, para esa batalla y para cambiar el modelo para cumplir la sentencia que demanda Bruselas, que se hará por cierto, habrá que bailar con las mas feas, o feos me da igual.

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Barcelona Sants railway station today:

https://mobile.twitter.com/ierrejon/status/842427743199465473

https://mobile.twitter.com/Sonia_Farre/status/842415409957601280/video/1

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Article from a Spanish leftist site that makes some good points before losing me towards the end with the writer's political project.

Estibadores: el Sí Se Puede de la clase obrera

La sola amenaza de huelga ha bastado para que el Real Decreto Ley aprobado por el gobierno de Rajoy para liberalizar la contratación en la estiba quedara derogado por las Cortes. El “no” ha sido para el gobierno del PP, pero también por elevación para el Tribunal de Justicia de la UE y su amenaza de sanción.

Uno de los sectores más concentrados, sindicalizados y coordinados del movimiento obrero han enseñado “músculo” y en esta ocasión ha bastado para evitar que varios partidos del Régimen votaran con la “responsabilidad de Estado” que les ha caracterizado en otros momentos. El “músculo” era económico -las pérdidas de cada jornada de huelga se han llegado a calcular en más de 50 millones de euros-, pero sobre todo político. El fantasma de un gran conflicto obrero en el centro de la escena, que podría regenerar el efecto “minero” de 2012, y dirigido contra todos los que hubieran votado “sí”, es un escenario que teme un PSOE con la peor crisis de su historia reciente.
....

It starts off by pointing out that just the threat of a strike was enough for the government decree to be voted down. This simply wouldn't have happened without the muscle of the dockworkers and the threat of a major conflict.

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Watching the vote in Algeciras:

https://mobile.twitter.com/romerito1462/status/842458682130612225/video/1

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Analysing an editorial on the vote in El País:

https://mobile.twitter.com/_ju1_/status/842525870074093568

Hieronymous

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From today's Journal of Commerce:

[quote=JoC]Spanish dockworkers call off remaining strikes

Bruce Barnard, Special Correspondent | Mar 16, 2017

The Spanish dockworkers’ union on Thursday canceled the remaining four days of a nine-day strike campaign after the government failed to win parliamentary support for reforms of the country’s dock labor system.

The strikes, which would have involved dockworkers stopping work every other hour, were due to take place on March 17, 20, 22, and 24.

The CMT union had earlier canceled five days of strikes while it held negotiations with the terminal operators and stevedores’ organization Anesco.

The minority Popular Party government’s planned reform was in response to a European Court ruling in December 2014 that the country’s dock labor system, which is run by local union controlled port pools, breaches EU rules on the freedom of establishment.

Spain was fined 15.6 million euros ($16.7 million) last July for failing to comply with the court’s ruling and faces a daily penalty of 134,000 euros until it carries out the reforms.

The draft reform would dismantle the union’s monopoly over the hiring of dockworkers across the Spanish waterfront and free port employers to hire non-union labor and remove the obligation to be paying members of the local dock pools.

The dockworkers’ union said it is prepared to start “serious and rigorous” negotiations with all parties, including employers and the government, to reach a consensus on responding to the Luxembourg court’s ruling.

The government has said it must comply with the court’s ruling and proposed a three-year transition for the reformed labor system to come into effect in a bid to win parliamentary support and meet some of the concerns of the union, which claims the reform will result in up to 7,000 job losses.

The government has not said how it will respond to the failure to obtain parliamentary approval for its planned reform.

[/quote]

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Today's front pages:

https://mobile.twitter.com/estibacanaria/status/842664543792873472/photo/1

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More video clips from Barcelona yesterday:

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/842368291863683073

https://mobile.twitter.com/ATLNTCBCNETA/status/842476873632432129

Edit: also this clip. I'm sure where it's from:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Jlbdocker/status/842441547782189056/video/1

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Photos from Algeciras with the new t-shirt:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Portuariosworld/status/842934251091906561

https://mobile.twitter.com/romerito1462/status/842946466327003136

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Statement from the CNT Amarradores del Puerto de Barcelona union branch in support of the Coordinadora in its conflict with the government (in Spanish):

Comunicado de nuestra Sección ante los últimos acontecimientos en el conflicto de la estiba

Some responses from Coordinadora members:

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/843189032662319105

Also:

https://mobile.twitter.com/crisalidaliquid/status/843192202058780672

https://mobile.twitter.com/berflowersta/status/843197577227132930

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A brief summary in English of the legal and other issues in the dispute:

http://www.nepia.com/media/641056/CIRCULAR-Stevedore-Strike-Action-March-2017.pdf

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Poster for a rally in Sydney to support Spanish dockworkers. I don't actually know if this is still going ahead or whether it has been called off along with this week's strikes.

https://mobile.twitter.com/jordiaragunde/status/843399476022841345/photo/1

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A Guerra dos Portos | The War of Ports - video produced in 2014 by Portuguese dockworkers - interviews with dockworkers from various European countries on the attacks they are facing from employers, states and the EU. Watching this helps put the dispute in Spain in perspective, with a dockworker from Valencia predicting that what was happening in Portugal and other European countries would also happen in Spain. Subtitles in English and Portuguese.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oKRJ5k1N4dM
[youtube]oKRJ5k1N4dM[/youtube]
.

Report on the 2013-2014 dispute in Lisbon:
.

In the Face of Austerity, Portuguese Dockers Win Back Union Jobs

December 19, 2014 / Katy Fox-Hodess

In a time of global economic crisis, many unions feel they have no choice but to focus on just minimizing concessions.

But dockworkers in Lisbon, Portugal, who refused to follow suit have garnered widespread support—setting an example of how organized workers can use solidarity to resist austerity. With a crucial assist from dockworkers in Spain and elsewhere, they won reinstatement of their fired, non-union co-workers.

Portugal has been among the European countries hit hardest by the crisis. Unemployment has reached Depression-era levels, climbing past 40 percent for younger workers.

Making matters worse, in exchange for bailouts to national governments, the “Troika” of the European Central Bank, European Commission, and International Monetary Fund has demanded privatization, deregulation, weakened labor standards, and massive cuts to social programs.

In the name of stimulating the economy and cutting costs, longtime social rights and benefits have been severely eroded. For example, the number of hours in the workweek has increased. So has the retirement age. And the number of national holidays recognized annually has been reduced by four.

Average wages in Portugal, which already had the lowest minimum wage in Western Europe, have fallen dramatically. Legislation passed during the crisis has undermined unions’ ability to negotiate contracts. The numbers of collective bargaining agreements and of union members have declined significantly.

Assault by the Banks

The Portuguese government’s May 2011 memorandum of understanding with the Troika called for an array of legislative measures targeting working people.

Most relevant for the dockworkers was a provision to narrow the definition of dock labor (shrinking the group of workers who get extra protections beyond those in the general labor law) and to impose other anti-labor measures benefiting port employers. The target date for implementation was January 2012.

After legislation was introduced to carry out these changes, nearly all Portugal’s ports struck in protest, delaying the law’s passage well past the target date.

The International Dockworkers Council, one of two international organizations of European dockworkers (the other is the European Transport Workers Federation, ETF), organized a November 2012 protest that brought hundreds of workers to Lisbon for the largest pan-European dockworker protest in several years. It sent a strong message of unity to the employer, the government, and the Troika.

But the law eventually got through at the end of 2012, and went into effect in February 2013. The dockworkers began negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement, which now had to be in compliance with the new anti-union law.

Dockworkers Sacked

At the beginning of 2013, 18 casual dockworkers from the Lisbon union pool were dismissed.

This followed the new law’s revised definition of which jobs were part of the union labor pool—though it violated the contract still in place at the time. In July, another 29 additional casual dockworkers were dismissed. The union believed the employers had dismissed the 47 workers as part of a long-term strategy to create labor scarcity, in order to justify the creation of a second non-union labor pool at the port.

The employers tried to bring in scabs, so the union decided to shift its own strategy. In Lisbon the dockworkers moved toward “protection strikes”—meaning they only stopped work when scabs were brought in, and the maximum they stopped per day was four hours.

Protection strikes were a legal means for the dockworkers to prevent scabs from working the ships. For a time the strike threats dissuaded the employers from following through, but at the end of year, they succeeded in bringing in scab labor.

Despite the fact that the casuals are not members of the union, reinstating the 47 casual dockworkers employed through the union labor pool became the Lisbon dockworkers’ union’s rallying cry. The union also demanded:

that the new non-union labor pool not be permitted to grow beyond the 21 workers already employed

that those workers have the option of being integrated into the union pool after a new collective bargaining agreement was negotiated

that the employers drop a lawsuit they had filed against the union for damages during the strikes

and that the government agree to help mediate, and extend the contract negotiations until September 2014.

All year, the union dockworkers financially supported the dismissed casual workers so that they could continue to fight for their jobs and not have to find other work. The campaign to reinstate the fired workers became an important factor in garnering public support for the union.

Working with the Unemployed

Meanwhile, outside official union channels, a group of rank-and-file members of the Lisbon union had formed an activist organization, Estivadores Solidariedade (Dockworker Solidarity). These were members who felt their leaders weren’t doing enough to prevent the law from being implemented.

In particular, they wanted to reach out to the broader community, to counteract the employer/media message that privileged workers were disrupting the ports for their own narrow interests. They began working with others who were inspired by their fight, including social movement organizations of unemployed workers, rank-and-file railway workers, nurses, and call center workers.

The group set up a Facebook page and retained a left-wing activist as its communications specialist—both helpful in combating the media disinformation campaign against them. The Facebook page also became a way to make direct contact with rank-and-file dockworkers in other countries. These rank-and-filers sent messages of support, made plans to participate in the November protest in Lisbon, and built solidarity efforts in their local ports.

Some of the Estivadores Solidariedade activists ran for union office in 2013, on a platform of social justice unionism, and won.

The outside support bolstered the dockworkers’ resolve as they faced the very difficult situation inside the port. Contract negotiations dragged on; progress was very slow.

Spanish Workers Refuse Scab Cargo

As the law’s February 2014 deadline approached, the dockworkers resumed their strikes. International allies stepped up support too. Dockworker unions affiliated with both federations participated in a February 4 European Day of Action, holding stop-work meetings at the ports and sending delegations to Portuguese embassies and consulates.

The most significant international action was taken at the Port of Algeciras by La Coordinadora, the Spanish dockworkers union. Algeciras is a major transshipment port at the Strait of Gibraltar. It was February when the first ship loaded entirely by scabs in Lisbon—the Samaria, operated by a Maersk subcontractor—reached Algeciras, its first port of call.

While the ship was being loaded, the Lisbon dockworkers had recorded a video to document the fact that the poorly prepared scabs had taken seven days to load the ship—compared with the one day it would typically take the union workers.

The badly loaded ship posed a safety hazard to dockworkers who would handle the cargo at subsequent ports. Cargo that has not been properly secured creates the risk of serious injury or even fatality.

La Coordinadora stopped the ship at Algeciras and issued the captain what the Portuguese dockworkers called a “yellow card.” Citing safety concerns, they warned that they would refuse to unload any ships loaded by scabs in Lisbon.

The ship’s captain communicated this message to Maersk, one of the largest shipping line operators in the world. Maersk sent a letter to the Portuguese stevedoring companies, informing them it didn’t want any of its ships loaded by the Lisbon scabs.

A major breakthrough was reached shortly thereafter.

Momentum across Europe

In a meeting mediated by the Portuguese Ministry of Transport and attended by an IDC representative, the employers agreed that the fired dockworkers would be reinstated, the second pool would not be permitted to grow beyond the 21 already employed, and those workers would have the option of being integrated into the union pool after a new collective bargaining agreement was negotiated. The employers’ lawsuit against the union for damages during the strikes was dropped.

The government agreed to help mediate the contract negotiations. Those negotiations were extended until September and then again until the end of the year. They are making slow but steady process towards a contract.

A joint IDC-ETF meeting in March, which had been planned to coordinate solidarity for Lisbon, turned into a celebration and a discussion of other issues facing European dockworkers. There was a strong sense that the Lisbon victory had provided greater momentum to address the needs of other Portuguese dockworkers (particularly in Aveiro), the long-standing dispute at the Port of Piraeus in Greece, and a dispute in Norway.

Katy Fox-Hodess is a doctoral student in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She thanks Antonio Mariano and Sergio Sousa of the Sindicato dos Estivadores in Lisbon for their help with this article.

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interview with Jordi Aragunde from the Coordinadora and IDC about dockworkers' struggles in Spain and internationally. This is from 2014 but it's still relevant.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5LbMYXeRElM
[youtube]5LbMYXeRElM[/youtube]

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Protest organised by Lisbon dockworkers in June 2016.

The Lisbon dockworkers union called a protest against precarious labor and unemployment this 17/06/2016 Many different collectives joined the march, from student groups, to other unions, parties, LGBT groups, the docker's families, among others. The protest ended with speeches in front of Parliament from supporters and union representatives from the International Dockworkers Council, vowing to continue to support the struggle against precarious labor in Portuguese ports, a pitched battlefield in recent times, as the dockers have been under attack by neoliberal attempts to replace them with cheap, untrained and replaceable labor.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AA59lbDFCNw
[youtube]AA59lbDFCNw[/youtube]
.
.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=80pS9u1HUoE
[youtube]80pS9u1HUoE[/youtube]
.
Andy Green from Tilbury speaking in Sines in January 2016:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oJJBmcAJPNE
[youtube]oJJBmcAJPNE[/youtube]
.
Marc Storms from Antwerp speaking at the same conference in Sines:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wwdbx7pxzOw
[youtube]wwdbx7pxzOw[/youtube]
.
Labour historian Raquel Varela speaking in Sines:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmw6dJjNKO8
[youtube]Kmw6dJjNKO8[/youtube]
.
Blog post (in Portuguese) by Raquel Varela on Spanish dispute. Also here.

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Negotiations resumed today - twitter thread in Spanish that isn't optimistic about the outcome:

https://mobile.twitter.com/mundoestiba/status/844203115905736705

https://mobile.twitter.com/mundoestiba/status/844284527061159937

One suggestion here is that the government side is looking to get parliamentary support back rather than negotiate seriously with the dockworkers.

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report (in Spanish) on yesterday's negotiations:

http://www.europasur.es/maritimas/subrogacion-estibadores-principal-escollo-acuerdo_0_1119788120.html

Coordinadora meeting in Madrid today to discuss the negotiations:

https://mobile.twitter.com/SoyCoordinadora/status/844491154628390913

fingers malone

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hey really useful thread Mark

ajjohnstone

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Was it a Mick Parkins (?) who wrote a pamphlet on the dockers and the Coordinadora. He was host of CNT postal section visiting Edinburgh and Glasgow mail centres (EH had just had a walk-out so she witnessed our strike meeting) a couple of decades ago and i also hold a vague memory of him explaining that all that recallable bits in constitutions have proven meaningless since he knew of no occasion that it was ever evoked

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ajjohnstone

Was it a Mick Parkins (?) who wrote a pamphlet on the dockers and the Coordinadora.

That sounds quite possible but I can't remember seeing the pamphlet and it doesn't seem to be online anywhere. Edit: Mick Parkin gets a mention in this report on the 1997 CGT congress in the context of organising a visit by Liverpool dockers to speak to CGT and Coordinadora dockworkers:

https://libcom.org/library/1997-cgt-conference-spain

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

fingers malone

Hey really useful thread Mark

Thanks. I'm still surprised that the dispute hasn't attracted more attention outside Spain. I'm not sure what the PP government are trying to do but it looks as if they may be aiming to force a confrontation and a strike. I don't really see what they expect to gain from it though. Maybe I'm missing something.

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Articles about the Coordinadora written by Stan Weir in the 80s
(pages 151-163):

https://libcom.org/library/singlejack-solidarity-stan-weir

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Raquel Varela - Why dock workers can change the world

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1paOv1xdwQY
[youtube]1paOv1xdwQY[/youtube]

Ragnar

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As far as I'm concerned and because of the essence of the Spanish right, the PP never gives its arm to twist if it is not for a social conflict, strike or pressure on the street.
If I am not mistaken, the PP tries to follow a neoliberal policy in the naval sector. Liberalize and outsource functions, subcontract and precarious working conditions. It tries to damage 2000 of a total of 7000 workers in the naval sector and promises that it will maintain the 5000 jobs. This question has never been fulfilled since the Spanish naval reconversion of the 1980s and 1990s, adding that working conditions will worsen.

syndicalist

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mick Parkins....another winner

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is an interesting interview with Ana Corrales, a dock worker in Barcelona. It's more about her personal experience, both in terms of working conditions and what it's like being a woman in what is still a male dominated workplace. I'll try and post something about what she says when I have time.

“No es ningún secreto. Estas son las condiciones en las que trabajamos”

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Another article along the same lines on the experiences of four dockworkers in different Spanish ports. The pay of dockworkers seems to be a contentious issue, with some apparently exaggerated claims being made of average annual earnings of over €60,000. No one is disputing that they are well paid but the figures given for the individuals interviewed for this article are all significantly lower; Daniel Miguel (Bilbao) €30,000-40,000, Rosa Dilla (Barcelona) under €40,000, Santiago Medina (Gran Canaria) under €40,000, Esther Lázaro (Valencia) under €50,000. Dockworkers' earnings are variable and depend very much on how busy the ports are. Earnings at smaller, quieter ports are likely to be significantly lower than these figures. This is all for shift work which is potentially quite dangerous. Beyond this I haven't seen anything that I'd really consider to be a reliable source on average earnings, despite the figures repeatedly quoted in different articles.

Retrato de la estiba: el conflicto de los estibadores en cuatro esquinas de España

Edit: report from Cartagena, one of the smaller ports.

No somos unos privilegiados ni tenemos 'supersueldos'

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Barcelona dockworkers banner:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Dockers_ES/status/846874610259939328/photo/1

Ragnar

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It´s in catalá but with google translate I think that is easy understand.

https://directa.cat/chicharra-assemblea-motor-de-lluita

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I struggle with Catalan, but that's a useful article. It does suggest that the Coordinadora have managed to counteract some of the negative effects of the works committee system by maintaining weekly mass meetings and ensuring committee members continue with their usual work rather than turning into union full timers. The article is mainly about the port of Barcelona where all the committee members are Coordinadora. I suspect this may help to keep the works committee system in check, and that one of the problems for other radical unions that take part in works committee elections (the CGT and other smaller unions, but not the CNT) is that they are rarely in the majority, with the wider workforce being left without much direct control over the activity of the committees.

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Academic article from 2011:

Mònica Clua-Losada - Trading solidarity: dockworkers and the EU liberalisation of port services

Abstract:
This paper discusses the implications that the free trading of labour can have on workers solidarity. The idea of the free trading of labour is introduced as a way to explore the implications of new modes of neoliberal governance within the EU which are increasingly focusing on the free trading of services, therefore, having direct implications on how labour is understood and, more importantly, regulated. To do so, it focuses on European dockworkers and their struggle during the 2000s against the two EU directives designed to liberalise port services (EU directives on Market Access to Port Services). Considering that European dockworkers have, so far, successfully challenged the liberalising attempts of the Commission, the paper contributes to our understanding of successful transnational trade union action.

rtve radio broadcasts:

Spanish Dock Workers (I) - 30/03/17

It was an historic moment: Spain's Parliament voted down a government decree that aims to dismantle the dock working sector. The European Commission has demanded Spain "liberalize" the sector, opening it to competition, but the government's response to the EC directive entailed far more draconian measures, eliminating jobs and labor rights within three years. The Dock Workers have said they will comply with the EC directive, but rejected the decree. The government has shied from negotiations but now must join the port businesses and the workers at the table. Today's program includes part of a conversation about this important labor dispute, in its historical context, with Professor Mónica Clua-Losada (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley). You can hear the rest of this conversation tomorrow.

Spanish Dock Workers II - Contexts - 31/03/17

In today's program we talk with Mònica Clua Losada, professor of Political Science at the University of Texas and Barcelona's Pompeu Fabra University, whose work has specialized in labor conflict and austerity. She provides an historic context for the current docking sector dispute in Spain and analyzes the specifics as they relate to European policy, globalization, "the race to the bottom", international solidarity and resistance.

Mònica Clua-Losada's dissertation on the Liverpool dockers dispute:

http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/1137/1/thesis_MCL_2010.pdf

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rR3DrE1DJtc
[youtube]rR3DrE1DJtc[/youtube]

Published on 9 Apr 2017 . Bilbo dockers can rock
Musika: Bilbo Dockers

Alfonso: Bateria
Natxo: Bajo
Mikel: Guitarra solista
Hibai: Guitarra y voz
Iñaki: Voz y Armonica
Juanan: Voz
Feat: Xabi Valle (Gaita)

Grabado en Gorila estudios (Bolueta), por Borja F. Mono
en Marzo de 2017.

Camaras y Video: Gorka, Juanma & Dockers

Edicion y Montaje: Estibadores de juguette

(Cast)
De forma altruista algunos musicos que trabajamos en puerto de Bilbao como estibadores nos hemos unido para rendir homenaje a la lucha que se esta llevando a cabo entorno al futuro de nuestra profesion. Esta cancion para [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] del mundo y para toda la gente que quiera disfrutar de ella: Musicos desde el Hard rock, Metal, folk, pop, acustica y punk, hemos unido nuestras fuerzas en esta causa "Arte-sana".

(Eus)
Bilboko kaian zamaketari lanetan gabiltzan musikari batzuk, gure indarrak batu ditugu gure ogibidearen inguruko borroka babesteko. Munduko zamaketari guztientzako kanta hau grabatu dugu, baita ere abestiaz gozatu nahi duen beste edonorentzat. Musika alor desberdinetan hazitako kideak gara: Hard rocka, Metala, Folk, pop, akustiko ta punka besteak beste.

(Ing)
Musician Dockers from the port of Bilbao have joined to create a song about the defense of our work on the docks. We´ve recorded a song for dockers all around the world and to the rest of people if they want enjoy it. We unite our different musical styles: Hard rock, Metal, Folk, pop, acoustic and punk for this cause.

Mark.

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some old videos from the Coordinadora youtube channel:

30 años de Coordinadora Estatal de Estibadores Portuarios
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=50RdEL93UO8
[youtube]50RdEL93UO8[/youtube]
.
Canción de los Estibadores Portuarios
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rLfpD-UAfNw
[youtube]rLfpD-UAfNw[/youtube]

Mark.

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

Article from a Spanish leftist site that makes some good points before losing me towards the end with the writer's political project.

Estibadores: el Sí Se Puede de la clase obrera

Here's an English translation from the Left Voice site. The original article from Izquierda Diario was published on the day the decree was voted down.

Dockworkers: the “can do” of the working class

Editor’s note - March 16 saw the Spanish parliament vote against the Royal Decree Law that sought to scrap the country’s port labor system. The decree put forward by the conservative Partido Popular (PP - People’s Party) government was voted down - 175 votes against, 142 in favor and 33 abstentions. Crucially, 32 of these abstentions came from the center-right Ciudadanos (Citizens) party that helps to prop up the minority Partido Popular government. This vote is the first time in nearly four decades that a royal decree has been rejected by the Spanish parliament.

The simple threat of a strike was enough to ensure the overturning of the anti-worker Royal Decree Law drawn up by conservative leader Mariano Rajoy. The “no” vote was not just a blow for the current Partido Popular government but also for the EU Court of Justice and its threat of sanctions.

One of the most concentrated, unionized and coordinated sectors of the labor movement has flexed its “muscle”, which this time round was enough to stop the parties of the post-Franco regime from voting for the “national interest” as they have done in the past. The threat of a strike was not only to have economical consequences - an estimated potential loss of 50 million Euros a day - but also political consequences. The flexing of this political “muscle” raised the specter of a big labor dispute taking center stage in Spain, one that could potentially recreate the solidarity and militancy of the Spanish coal miners’ dispute of 2012 and direct this at all those who voted “yes”. This is a scenario that the social-democratic Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE - Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) fears as it enters its worst crisis in recent history.

If anything, what this demonstrates is that - despite all the skepticism about social mobilization and all the illusions in “storming heaven” through institutional means – determined class struggle is the way to defeat a government and the European institutions which shield its anti-labor policies. But not only that, it is also the way to open up the opportunity to bring the “democracy of the IBEX35” (the Spanish stock exchange) to an end and impose a program that makes the capitalists pay for the crisis.

As the media have pointed out, parliament’s rejection of the Royal Decree Law is historic. It has only happened twice since 1979, and one of these was by accident. Not only that, but among the “no” voters were key social-democratic PSOE deputies. These deputies belong to the same “socialist” party that, under pressure from the European Union (EU) and the financial markets, amended Article 135 of the Spanish Constitution in 2011 to ensure budget stability; that introduced a series of austerity measures in 2010 at the behest of the ‘Troika’ of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund; that implemented the industrial reconversion process in the 1980s that closed down and sold off much of the country’s state-owned enterprises at the EU’s request ... if anyone knows anything about offloading economic crisis onto the strategic sectors of the labor movement, it is the “socialists” of the PSOE. Nevertheless, the dockworkers have taken advantage of the current crisis affecting this political pillar of the regime and shown that they could twist its arm and force it to vote “no”.

There is no doubt that the attacks on the dockworkers are far from over. Now the “cavalry” will come from the EU capital of Brussels; the media campaign against these so-called “privileged workers” will start again ... and the last word has not been spoken. Nevertheless, there are some interesting lessons that can be drawn from this first victory that go well beyond just the dockworkers.

Since 2014 we have seen the imposition of a new “common sense”, one that has been fueled by the rise of the neo-reformism of political parties such as Podemos (We Can), one that suggests that social mobilization is incapable of finishing off a rotten regime and the policies it uses to unload the crisis onto the majority of the population. This new “common sense” suggests that the key is to take the movement off the streets and into the electoral arena. Through these electoral projects, these forces would fight for social, political and economic reform with the idea of taking hold of government institutions and using them to make social change.

After nearly three years, the growth of various parliamentary groups for “change”, beginning with the 71 Congress deputies of Unidos Podemos (United We Can) and its allies*, has seen these forces take hold of a number of important municipalities and legislative bodies. However, their political practice is very different from what has been promised. In the municipalities of “change”, government debt is paid religiously, demands such as remunicipalización (taking previously privatized entities back into public hands) are abandoned and either their minority status or the existing legal framework is used to justify their refusal to take effective measures to end unemployment, evictions or energy poverty. In the Congress and the regional parliaments, they allow themselves to make very left-wing speeches and come out in support of existing mobilizations such as those of the dockworkers, but they do not propose one single measure of struggle or organization that would help to implement concrete measures against major social problems.

The dockworkers have shown us that just flexing their “muscle”, without even having to put their fighting ability into action has, to date, managed to overcome both the problem of the parliamentary majority - 268 of the 350 deputies are from neoliberal formations that have turned obedience to the EU into a dogma - and the threats from Brussels. It has not been the threat of strike action alone that has achieved this, for the division among the employers and especially the conditions of open crisis in the regime and its political agents have undoubtedly played a role. But this critical situation is not an exceptional one, for it has in fact been the norm since 2011. What dockworkers have demonstrated is that there is another way to occupy the electoral space.

You have to wonder about what we could achieve if the reformist left, which speaks of “change” and even of “returning to the streets”, started demanding that trade union leaders end their criminal policies of compromise and social peace? What could we impose on the parties of the regime if the reformist left took advantage of their positions and called for the organization and mobilization of workers, young people and women?

Examples arise by the dozen. The municipalities of “change” say that they cannot take privatized firms back into public hands because they are in a minority, or that if they generate quality public employment, then Partido Popular Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro will audit them. Both things are as true as the fact that the EU Court of Justice will sanction the Spanish government if Rajoy cannot get his ‘reforms’ to the port labor system approved. Then what should be done? Resign yourself as local mayors for change such as Manuela Carmena (Madrid), Ada Colau (Barcelona), Pedro Santiesteve (Zaragoza) and José María “Kichi” González (Cádiz) have done? Or, on the contrary, prepare a great movement that fights to impose its demands on the politicians that serve big business and their courts, just like the dockworkers have done?

The same can be said of the parliamentary work of Podemos. As Pablo Iglesias himself says, in the Courts you can draw up little more than proposals that do not become law. But why is it that in over one year as a deputy, he has not called for a mobilization, or an assembly, or demanded that the union bureaucracy moves a finger ... for an increase in the official minimum wage, for the repeal of various labor ‘reforms’ or the nationalization of the criminal energy sector?

The dockworkers have shown us what they think of the new “common sense”, fueled as it is by the reformism of “change” that tells us that we cannot aspire – “because it is one thing to form government and another to have power”, “because I am only going to promise what I can get, in agreement with the PSOE and existing legality”. This “common sense” can be quickly surpassed once the road of social mobilization is returned to, with workers on the front foot and consistently defending the only realistic program to solve the great social problems: one that directly affects the profits and interests of the capitalists.

The most important conclusion that those moved by the victory of the dockworkers can draw is that the whole working class “has to do it like them. Our class has to learn how to flex its “muscle” and set it in motion a massive movement of workers together with young people, women and immigrants... in order to end unemployment by imposing the distribution of working hours with no reduction in wages, at the expense of the record profits being made by large corporations; by demanding the nationalization of banking and large strategic companies such as electricity providers under workers’ control; by refusing to pay all government debt; and by taxing large fortunes in order to guarantee good education, universal health and public services, among other urgent and fundamental measures.

The dockers’ victory is a victory for the whole working class against the precariousness of work. It is necessary to use this victory as a launching pad. They are going to keep attacking the dockworkers in order to try to break them, so for that reason we need to close ranks and surround them with our solidarity. At the same time, we must demand that if the trade union bureaucracy and the ‘neo-reformists’ want their declarations in favor of the unemployed, the precariously employed and other workers to have some credibility, they must call assemblies in every workplace for the organizing of a real plan of struggle that imposes a working-class solution to the crisis.

Translation: Sean Robertson

This is a translation of an article which first appeared at the Spanish Izquierda Diario website

* Unidos Podemos (United We Can) is the left-wing coalition that contested the 2016 Spanish general election. It consists of Podemos (We Can); Izquierda Unida (United Left) which has the Communist Party of Spain at its core; the Green Party “Equo” and other smaller, mainly regional parties. In various regions, it ran under different names, such as En Comú Podem (In Common We Can) in Catalonia and En Marea (En Masse) in Galicia.

Mark.

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dear IDC Members,

With the support of the International Dockworkers Community, the Spanish Government recently failed to pass a Royal Decree to reform the Spanish port system.

The IDC is aware, however, that the Spanish government intends to present a new Royal Decree to reform the Spanish port system.

Although the details of this decree have not been made known, the fact remains the government has failed to include the participation of social partners (employers / workers) in the drafting of this proposal.

For this reason, the Spanish Union COORDINADORA has cause to believe this decree poses a threat to Spanish dockworkers, and has published a three-week strike advisory for the transport of all goods (not including the transport of people) during the odd hours on the following dates:

WEEK 1
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Friday, May 26, 2017

WEEK 2
Monday, May 29, 2017
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Friday, June 2, 2017

WEEK 3
Monday, June 5, 2017
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Friday, June 9, 2017

As in the case of the previous Royal Decree, IDC will continue to watch over new developments closely, and remains ready to escalate a collective response as needed . We ask all IDC affiliates to pledge their international support for COORDINADORA, with respect to participation in the above advisory.

Please remain alert in the coming days to any news with regards to the advisory strikes dates. In the case of any diverted ship we will request you to make action.

IDC will continue to support dockworkers everywhere in their struggle to defends their professions.

WE WILL NEVER WALK ALONE AGAIN!

In solidarity,

Jordi Aragunde
IDC General Coordinator

http://mailchi.mp/12d6808ba76e/idc-coordinadora-strike-advisory

Mark.

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report in Spanish on calls by the IDC for dockworkers in other countries not to unload ships diverted from ports in Spain.

115.000 estibadores de todo el mundo apoyarán las acciones que emprendan los estibadores españoles con todas sus consecuencias

Portuguese dockworkers refuse to handle ships and cargoes diverted from Spain. Report in Portuguese.

Estivadores portugueses em greve aos navios desviados de Espanha

Statement by Portuguese dockworkers.

Portuguese Dockworkers decree strike on ships diverted from Spain

Determining ground for the calling of the strike

These constitute serious reasons, determinant of this strike declaration:

We must note the brutal attack that the collective of Spanish dockworkers is under, with a contingent of more than 6.500 professionals, men and women trained in the best port sector training schools that we can find on this planet, threatened by a shameful and unacceptable collective dismissal, a consequence of a recidivist royal decree unilaterally approved by the Spanish government in office to allegedly comply with a sentence of the European Court of Justice (EJC) which considers the current working model agreed between the social partners in the sector to be illegal.

We consider it unacceptable that an EU government decrees the collective dismissal of all professional dockworkers in Spanish ports, one of the most professional and efficient groups in the EU, replacing them with the same or other workers with precarious links, which determines the deep degradation of their working and social conditions; To accept and agree with such a scenario would be to accept that the various European Treaties which uphold this Europe, many of which have not even been endorsed by the people of the various countries, legitimize, lead and compel to the dismissal, precariousness and continuous and progressive degradation of the life of the hundreds of millions of their working citizens and, consequently, of their populations.

We can verify the parallel and the evident effects of contagion of the labour deregulation of the port sector in Spain, with what has recently happened in Portugal and hasn’t still been object of correction by the present government, to be mentioned, as an example:

In Portugal, the previous PSD / CDS government, subservient to the financial interests of the powerful economic groups that dominated the national port sector, approved port work legislation without respecting the workers’ organizations that represented the overwhelming majority of Portuguese dockworkers, through which they have sought to liberalize the sector, to de-characterize the profession, to perpetuate the widespread precariousness and degrading conditions that permeate most Portuguese ports, by permitting the precariousness of port workers in a much more deregulated and permissive way than what the Labour Code permits, which, by the way, remains regrettable and incomprehensibly without being revoked or at least profoundly altered, even more so that it cannot be ignored that the previous government claimed that such legislation made Portuguese dockworkers “guinea pigs” of a degraded and misery labour model to be exported to the whole of Europe,

In Spain, the current government intends to condemn to the disappearance of one of its professionally most well-prepared groups, to lead to a collective dismissal of workers, in one of the harshest and most dangerous areas of activity, responsible for the sustained growth of Spanish ports and the positive impact that such behaviour of such a strategic sector of the economy has on its overall performance; Without conceding the results achieved through the dialogue process which the social partners in the sector have been maintaining for a long time, although it is well known that the unspeakable behaviour of the Spanish government is largely due to its subservience to the millions and to the ambitions of JPMorgan, one of the main owners of the Spanish ports, which will certainly be supported by other more veiled public expression employer forces, all of them eager to transfer a large part of the labour income to the capital side, hence increasing the inequalities to disproportionate gaps.

The Portuguese dockworkers represented by this National Union could whistle aside and pretend they forgot how decisive was the intervention of the IDC – International Stevedoring Council, the 100,000 dockworkers it represents, militants struggling in the active and constant defence of their profession, the action of their leaders, starting with their World Coordinator, always ready to fight on the most diverse fronts, be they through communiqués or letters of solidarity, interventions at embassies or the declaration and organization of strikes and their pickets, local or international demonstrations, but still and above all, cannot forget how solidarity actions in the field will always be decisive, as proved by the actions of our colleagues in Algeciras to maintain the quality of employment in Lisbon, with all the positive consequences that such a result will certainly have, in the future of workers from other national ports.

We do not accept to dispatch ships and cargoes diverted from Spain and thus to collaborate objectively in the attempt of collective dismissal in course, planned by the Spanish government, in promiscuous relation with the capital without borders, to which it renders interested vassalage.

The international solidarity now enacted is a direct consequence of a decision taken by IDC’s world leaders at the grassroots level, an organization to which this Union, with pride, belongs, being bound by that decision, or by having directly contributed to the formation of the collective will underlying it, or because it fully agrees with the purposes it intends to achieve with it.

Mark.

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A message of support from taxi drivers in Valencia (in Spanish).

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wfPf3ZvGDo8
[youtube]wfPf3ZvGDo8[/youtube]
.

And from Las Kellys (hotel cleaners) on Fuerteventura.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FhnH_LpjLPk
[youtube]FhnH_LpjLPk[/youtube]

Ragnar

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

::: DOSSIER SOBRE LA LUCHA DE LA ESTIBA :::

Hoy el Congreso ha aprobado el decreto ley de la estiba, por tanto los estibadores y estibadoras están en pie de guerra. En este contexto del incremento de la conflictividad en los puertos, difundimos el siguiente número especial elaborado por La Soli.

Puedes descargarlo y leerlo en el siguiente enlace: http://lasoli.cnt.cat/hemeroteca/2017/2017-04-24.pdf

::: ESSENTIAL FIGHTING DOSSIER :::

Today Congress has approved the stevedown law, so stevedores and stevedores are on the warpath. In this context of increased conflict in ports, we released the following special issue prepared by La Soli.

You can download it and read it at the following link: http://lasoli.cnt.cat/hemeroteca/2017/2017-04-24.pdf

Mark.

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Shipping press report on the new strike call out. I'm not sure if the claim that go slows are already happening is accurate. I suspect not.

https://www.lloydslist.com/ll/sector/ports-and-logistics/article555864.ece

Ragnar

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, that is possible. Due to strikes or possible jealousy of port workers, delays and so on, companies have diverted workloads to other ports.
As I said before is not something new in this sector since the dismantling of much of the naval since the 1980s.
To have such a function the dock workers' coordinator can be vital for the pulse that Spanish dock workers are carrying.

Mark.

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The first five strike days, which were due to start tomorrow, have been called off following talks yesterday with the employers organisation Anesco. It appears that the more moderate wing of the port employers are willing to reach an agreement on maintaining job security. It remains to be seen whether all the employers will go along with this.

http://www.naucher.com/es/actualidad/el-acuerdo-de-estibadores-y-patronal-retrasa-la-huelga-a-la-espera-de-que-anesco-renazca/_n:6501/

http://www.coordinadora.org/noticias/estibadores-ceep/15218-la-asamblea-acuerda-exigir-a-anesco-la-garantia-de-la-totalidad-del-empleo

Chilli Sauce

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As always, thanks for the updates Mark!

Mark.

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It looks like the strikes are finally happening, starting tomorrow.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Portuariosworld/status/870654607902601216

According to this dockworkers will be striking on alternate hours on June 5, 7 and 9, followed by an all out 48 hour strike from June 14 to 16, and striking on alternate hours again on June 19, 21 and 23.

JP Morgan hace caja con la reforma de la estiba y vende a Cosco sus puertos españoles

Another report here claiming that J P Morgan are looking to sell their interests in Spanish ports to Chinese port operator Cosco, and so have an interest in the government's reforms going through to reduce labour costs before a possible sale. I'm not sure the report actually contains any new information, though it may help explain some of the divisions on the employers' side. Some other employers seem content with the status quo and less than keen on the government's plans.

La estiba europea reafirma el "apoyo incondicional a nuestros compañeros españoles”

Report on IDC meeting in Barcelona last week.

Ragnar

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The strike dock workers' begins in defense of their rights and jobs

Comienza la huelga del colectivo de estibadores en defensa de sus derechos y puestos de trabajo
http://kaosenlared.net/comienza-la-huelga-lxs-estibadorxs-defensa-puestos-trabajo-derechos/

"The Ministry of Public Works has ordered minimum services of up to 100% in operations involving perishable and dangerous goods, passengers, emergency situations and essential products for the islands, Ceuta and Melilla. Abusive minimum services that also require dockers to guarantee a yield of not less than 50% of the average of the previous calendar year on a comparable day."

Mark.

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Images from the link above:

Mark.

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A call for international solidarity with the Spanish dockers

Dear all IDC Members,

Friday, June 2, 2017. Following the actions of the Spanish Employers Association, the Spanish trade union Coordinadora has decided to proceed with a strike NEXT 5/7/9 June for 12 HOURS.

IDC will heed the strike advisory and will remain alert- with their full attention- in order to follow new developments of the Spanish situation. We will alert our IDC members to any future developments.

In response to this advisory, a Maersk ship was already diverted from the Port of Algeciras to the Port of Tangier. We ask that all IDC members be aware of ships that may be diverted from Spain, and to not work accept these ships in their ports.

I would like to extend my gratitude to the international dockworkers community and to the individuals who have stood alongside Spanish Dockworkers amidst their struggle to defend their professions.

IDC will continue to support dockworkers everywhere in their struggle, and iterates their steadfast commitment to Coordinadora, who has demonstrated- yet again- strength in unity.

WE WILL NEVER WALK ALONE AGAIN!

In solidarity,

Jordi Aragunde
IDC General Coordinator

Mark.

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spanish dockworkers plan to strike for seven more days this month after Monday’s 24-hour walkout following the breakdown of talks between unions and port employers over the implementation of the government’s forthcoming waterfront labour reforms.

The strikes follow months of slowdowns that have sharply reduced productivity and stoked fears carriers will permanently shift some calls that are being rerouted to rival ports in Morocco, Malta, and Portugal.

Dockers will stop working on alternative hours tomorrow and on Friday, stage an all-out, 48-hour strike on June 14–15 and walk out every other hour on June 19, 21, and 23.

The dockers’ union called the strikes after failing to secure pledges from Anesco, the port employers’ organization, over safeguarding the jobs of more than 6,000 workers it fears are at risk when the government’s reforms are enacted.

The reforms, which secured parliamentary approval last month, will end “closed shop” union controlled hiring of dock labour to comply with a European Court ruling in December 2014 that the Spanish system breaches EU freedom of establishment.

Spain was fined 15.6 million euros ($17.6 million) last July for failing to comply with the court ruling and faces further hefty daily penalties until it changes the current system.

The government has proposed a three-year phase in of the new hiring system and offered up to 120 million euros to finance the early retirement of dockers.

The reforms will affect around 6,150 dockers in 46 Spanish ports, but most of the focus is on three ports — Algeciras, Valencia, and Barcelona, which employ 3,800 workers.

Manuel Morón, the head of the Algeciras Port Authority, has said the strikes “will completely shatter” Spain’s leading transshipment hub.

Maersk Line’s SL Illinois today omitted a call at Algeciras and is discharging cargo at Barcelona, and the MSC Ilona also cancelled a call at the port and discharged traffic at Sines in Portugal.

Maersk also diverted the 20,568 TEU Madrid Maersk, the largest vessel in its fleet, from Algeciras to the Moroccan port of Tangier ahead of Monday’s strike.

From here

Mark.

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dockworkers in Algeciras:

https://mobile.twitter.com/tiresias365/status/872382563372937216

Mark.

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Podcast: http://thedockerpodcast.libsyn.com/itf-cape-town-part-1-jorge-garcia-faerna?tdest_id=258903

As the rolling strikes continue on Spanish docks, we sit and talk with Jorge Garcia Faerna, General Secretary of FSC-CCOO in Spain. Jorge gives us the whole story on what struggles are being faced by Spanish dockers.

altemark

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The situation in Sweden is now beginning to turn into momentous issue for the independent workers movement as well as for the majority reformist unions. The social democrat government are now trying to use the pressure put on them by the Swedish Confederation of Enterprise to kickstart a government inquiry that could remove the right for non-CBA holding unions to engage in labor disputes (if the industrial action is not explicitly aimed at winning a CBA). This would not only mean problems for minority unions like the Swedish Dockworkers' Union, but also libertarian unions like SAC - the Syndicalists. The majority confederation, the LO, are staying very quiet on this issue, even though a change like this would make it possible for companies to form their own yellow unions, sign CBAs with these paper constructions, and effectively get rid of even reformist opposition.

From the Hamn4an:

After a year and a half of union struggle against the multinational, APM Terminals, the company has drastically escalated the dispute. The lockout of members of the Swedish Dockworkers Union was put in place on Friday, 19 May, in the container terminal on weekdays between 16:00 and 07:00. The lockout will continue for six weeks.

The conflict has never been about salary levels or allowances. Dockworkers in Gothenburg are defending conditions and ways of working which are regarded as given in other Swedish ports. APMT appears to be doing all it can to try to crush the majority member union in the Port of Gothenburg and, at the same time, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise continue to press for restrictions in the right to strike in a way that would have disastrous consequences for all the trade/labour unions in Sweden. The first 28 days of the lockout the production stoppages amount to more than double all of the industrial actions in the last half year taken by the Swedish Dockworkers Union.

Don’t let union busting and the prestige of the company to triumph over fundamental union rights and a sensible working environment!

Read more and keep up-to-date: http://www.hamn.nu and https://www.facebook.com/hamnarbetarna/

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Support from dockworkers in Valencia for Las Kellys hotel cleaners in Benidorm.

https://mobile.twitter.com/xavillin/status/873211413912838145

https://mobile.twitter.com/KeRoLeT/status/874310746141843456

https://mobile.twitter.com/NataliaOhYeah/status/874405852530311168

Ragnar

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What is CBA?

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

^collective bargaining agreement

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Maersk Line on the effects of the strikes

https://www2.maerskline.com/spanish-port-contingency

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Demo by CNT linesmen from the port of Barcelona on Monday. This seems to be their own separate dispute, and I think the employers are different.

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/875028242029309954

Overtime ban, which may have a wider effect together with the action by Coordinadora:

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/874567633156354048

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Solidarity action against unloading world's second largest container ship the Madrid Maersk which had been rerouted from Algeciras. I'm not sure of the details but it's now back in Algeciras.

https://mobile.twitter.com/IDC_Dockers/status/876003739127218176

https://mobile.twitter.com/ACV_Maritime/status/873111691600379905

https://mobile.twitter.com/ACV_Maritime/status/873113561681100805

https://mobile.twitter.com/ITFglobalunion/status/873131160620191744

https://mobile.twitter.com/pico_de_loro/status/874344750744252417

https://mobile.twitter.com/romerito1462/status/875854741011668992

Edit: report here

ITF/ETF dockers take action to back Spanish colleagues

Edit2: A more complete report in Spanish. According to this dockworkers in Antwerp, Felixstowe and Rotterdam refused to unload it. I can't find any other confirmation of action at Felixstowe although it did call there.

Boicot de los estibadores europeos al barco que Maersk desvió de Algeciras a Tánger

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Another strike day today

https://mobile.twitter.com/pablogfajardo/status/876731960428822533

https://mobile.twitter.com/Portuariosworld/status/876717208310775809

https://mobile.twitter.com/mundoestiba/status/874948700233236480

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report claiming that divisions on the employers' side are leading to some companies making agreements with unions to guarantee job security and so avoid further strike action. I haven't seen this confirmed elsewhere as yet.

Los pactos bajo cuerda entre empresas y estibadores abren una brecha en la patronal

Some background on the various port employers.

De la lista de Liechtenstein a los primos de Rato: ¿quiénes son los patrones de la estiba?

Edit: statement from Coordinadora which seems to confirm the report above.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Portuariosworld/status/877205454941769728

Another report based on this statement.

Los estibadores no harán huelga en las terminales que garanticen los empleos

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Podcast in Spanish - interview with Antolín Goya from Coordinadora.

¿Qué pasa con los Estibadores? La venta de los Puertos Españoles a China

Con Antonio J. Mayor, y de la mano de Antolín Goya, Coordinador General de los Estibadores Españoles, probablemente la voz mas autorizada y legitimada para contar la realidad de la estiba, vas a conocer toda la verdad sobre un conflicto que esta librando una feroz guerra contra la Comision Europea, contra la multinacional China Cosco y contra un poder politico que está desmantelando un sector esencial y estratégico de España para, simple y llanamente, regalarlo a "inversores" privados...

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It seems that agreement has been reached for now with most of the major port operators and strike action will only continue against companies that are holding out.

https://mobile.twitter.com/JordiNova/status/877418743223242754

https://mobile.twitter.com/CopeCanarias/status/877433194261381120

https://mobile.twitter.com/CopeCanarias/status/877433752804360192

https://mobile.twitter.com/mundoestiba/status/877430542446284800

https://mobile.twitter.com/dockerspain/status/877439965424218114

Edit: report in Spanish

Los sindicatos disipan la posibilidad de un acuerdo fortalecidos por la división empresarial

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Twitter thread (in Spanish) on the tactic of creating divisions between the employers.

https://mobile.twitter.com/estibaverdader/status/877546734813155329

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"It's the first time that in a collective conflict the employers are split instead of the union side. Dockworkers you are an example."

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/877562716084252673

Es la primera vez q en un conflicto colectivo se fractura la patronal en vez de la parte Sindical. #Estibadores sois ejemplo

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is a fairly clear report in Spanish on the current state of play in the dispute. Algeciras, the largest port, is working normally. In Valencia and Barcelona, the next most important ports, one terminal at each is still affected by strikes. Between them these ports account for more than half of Spain's dockworkers. Strikes are continuing at some of the smaller ports where agreement hasn't been reached with employers, including, according to this report, Alicante, Almería, Cádiz, Castellón, A Coruña, Ferrol, Motril, Huelva, Málaga, Melilla, Cartagena, Avilés, Marín, Vigo, Santander, Tarragona and Bilbao. Elsewhere I've seen mention of dockworkers in Algeciras setting up a fund to support those still on strike.

Los estibadores ganan por la mano su batalla con la patronal

Edit: strikes planned for June 23, 26 and 27 suspended pending another meeting with employers next week.

La estiba suspende (en parte) la huelga

This report has more background on the (divided) positions of the employers. In brief some of the major, and more intransigent, companies have now left the employers' organisation Anesco, where, although in a minority, they had been exercising a veto on attempts to reach an agreement with the unions. They're now demanding government intervention in the dispute.

La 'nueva' Anesco pide tiempo a la estiba para democratizar su estructura y estatutos

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A report in English on the latest developments. It's confused about which companies have left Anesco (it's the hardliners, not the ones that want to reach an agreement) but seems accurate otherwise.

Spain: workers suspend strikes as companies quit Anesco

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Agreement reached between dockworkers and Anesco with all jobs guaranteed. Remaining strike days called off. I'm not sure what happens now with the companies that have left Anesco.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Portuariosworld/status/880409647064207360

Mark.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Stoppage today in Algeciras as part of IDC Europe-wide action.

https://mobile.twitter.com/joseferlo361/status/880483628899323904

Stoppage in Valencia in solidarity with dockworkers in Gothenburg.

https://mobile.twitter.com/mundoestiba/status/880476229857669120

Edit: Tenerife

https://mobile.twitter.com/estibacanaria/status/880506810892996608

Las Palmas

https://mobile.twitter.com/estibacanaria/status/880508280677838848

Elsewhere in Europe

https://mobile.twitter.com/jordiaragunde/status/880514894516424704

Mark.

4 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Coordinadora in Barcelona have announced that they will not work with ships used by police in light of the current crisis over the Catalan independence referendum planned for 1 October. The decision was made unanimously in an assembly today. At the moment there are two ships moored in the port of Barcelona to provide accommodation for upwards of 4,000 police from the Policía Nacional.

https://mobile.twitter.com/CoordinadoraBCN/status/910814954814627841

https://elpais.com/ccaa/2017/09/21/catalunya/1505981808_365812.html

https://mobile.twitter.com/CgtMar/status/910798886893182976

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/910561218162814984

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/910554845731573760

The CGT in Catalunya are proposing a general strike starting on 3 October. According to the report they have been in discussions with other unions, aiming for united action.

http://rojoynegro.info/articulo/agitación/la-cgt-presenta-preaviso-convocatoria-huelga-general-catalunya

Edit: also the smaller Catalan unions IAC and COS.

https://mobile.twitter.com/LasKellysBCN/status/910910585021370368

alasbarricadas thread

http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=54033&start=1815

Mark.

4 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A useful report from Freedom (though I think the PortuariosCNT tweet about repainting the ship was meant to be ironic rather than taken seriously):

https://freedomnews.org.uk/barcelona-cnt-warns-of-riot-cops-shipped-into-docks/

The Coordinadora action is reported in the Telegraph. It mentions that dockworkers in Tarragona have joined in:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/21/boats-spanish-military-police-blocked-catalan-ports-unrest-grows/

Ragnar

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

STRIKE:

MOORING & PORT SERVICES (Servicio de Amarre del @portdebarcelona) the days 15, 16 y 17 of february.

https://twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/958731685738278913?s=09

Ragnar

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org


https://twitter.com/portuarioscnt?lang=es
"We have finished the Workers' Assembly. The staff supports the strike to force the reincorporation of their colleagues. Tomorrow we are summoned for the first mediation before the Labor Authority."

"A nuestra asamblea han acudido representantes de: -Remolcadores (CGT) [email protected] [email protected]_PORT_D_BCN [email protected] No existe ni existirá un Puerto sin vosotros. Sois enormes. Gracias."

"Representatives of:
- Tugboats (CGT)
- @ BcnTepsa
- @ USTP_PORT_D_BCN
- @ CoordinadoraBCN

- There is not a Port without you. You are huge. Thank you."

Ragnar

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/962003227674857472
ULTIMA HORA| La empresa RECTIFICA y accede a READMITIR a nuestros tres trabajadores despedidos.
LAST MINUTE | The company RECTIFIES and agrees to READMIT our three dismissed workers.

Ragnar

4 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There is no deal, will go on strike
https://www.elsaltodiario.com/laboral/portuarios-amarradores-barcelona-pie-guerra-despidos-inseguridad


https://twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/963479114685480960

Ragnar

4 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

They won!

Anarchist Union Reverses Firings at Port of Barcelona Through Militant Strike
https://itsgoingdown.org/anarchist-union-reverses-firings-port-barcelona-militant-strike/