Spanish ports blocked by industrial strike

dock workersPort workers in Spain will go on strike for three days this week, which expect to cause serious congestion and large waiting times. The port workers are protesting against the reform of operations aimed at liberalizing hiring practices in a heavily-unionized sector. The strike action is set for next Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The protests will seriously disturb the shipping lines and country’s trade, expecting to increase the lead time of the containers. Many container lines already announced their customers for skipping smaller Spanish ports this week in case to prevent any delays and going out of schedule due to the congestion and strike actions.

Around 60% of the Spanish trade (imports and exports) pass through its ports, and prolonged industrial action could be painful for the country’s automobile industry and chemical sector, and ruin fruit and vegetable cargoes.

The port workers in Spain already announced several strikes, putting under pressure the shipping companies and exporters, but later cancelled them after getting a preliminary agreement with authorities. However, the talks broke down last week and trade unions announced that will go ahead with the remaining three days of strikes.

Earlier, Spanish parliament proceeded with implementation of the long-delayed reform to bring port regulation closer to that of the European Union. The new law aims to permit the companies and operators to choose their own staff rather than being bound by union-approved lists. This will risk the jobs of thousands of people, which brought to protests.