The social partners present a proposal to the ministry of public works concerning the development of a new stevedoring model

EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE JUDGEMENT ON THE SPANISH STEVEDORING REGIME 11/12/2014 (PART II)

Preliminary agreement on the new Spanish stevedoring model

The main stevedoring unions in Spain and the National Association of Stevedoring Companies (ANESCO) met last week with representatives from the Ministry of Public Works in order to present the basis of a joint proposal responding to the envisaged reforms in the stevedoring industry, following the ruling of the Court of Luxembourg on the Spanish stevedoring regime last December.

The proposal was made at the request of the Ministry, who had asked the parties (employees and employers) an agreement in principle on the need to develop the legislative amendment for adapting the Spanish stevedoring model to the European regulations, in accordance with the aforementioned judgement.

Pillars of the proposal

The joint proposal is based on two pillars: the re-establishment of a National Register of Port Dockers and the creation of Port Employment Centres (PECs).

In order to achieve the European demand to abolish the obligation of the stevedoring companies to join the SAGEP for its activity, the creation of a unique Register of Port Stevedores at national level is proposed, ensuring professionalism and stability in the employment of these workers.

The Register would be governed by a Governing Council composed of representatives of the Public Administration, port workers’ unions and employers, and would be managed by the Port Authority in each port. The Register would include the stevedore staff of the current SAGEPs and other new staff depending on the actual needs of the ports, which the parties will determine during the development of the new regulations. The registration regime would be governed by criteria approved by the Governing Council.

In addition, in each port of general interest at least one Port Employment Center would be created, in order to make available to the stevedoring companies the required workers to perform cargo handling services.

The provision will be held in rotation shift or with the periodicity established by the sectoral collective bargaining, and would include the transfer of registered workers for their recruitment under a common employment relationship by request of the stevedoring companies or those providing cargo handling services under a self-provision system.

The social partners have shown themselves inclined to take advantage of the legislative amendment to its adaptation to EU requirements, to include provisions that improve the competitiveness of the port system.

Coordinadora (the majority union in the Spanish stevedoring sector) is confident about the adoption of the agreed solution, which is positive for the sector and ensures that the activity carried out so far by dockers continues being developed by them.

Next steps

Now, before being able to deepen the reform, employers and unions await the legal analysis and position of the Spanish Administration and the European Union itself about the proposal.

According to participants at the meeting, the Ministry is committed to transmit to the parties a road map to advance in the analysis of the proposals. In that sense, although the proposal of unions and employers is firm, the Ministry is not committed exhaustively to respect that agreement, but to start working from it.

Among other issues, the reform will have to deal with a new setting for training (both access and continuing) and professional recognition, key aspects in the maintenance of efficient and quality port services.

FEPORTS

Sources:

Estiba y patronal remiten a Fomento su acuerdo sobre la reforma del sector, Valencia Maritima (27/07/2015)
Anesco y los sindicatos presentan su propuesta conjunta para la reforma de la estiba al Ministerio de Fomento, CadenaDeSuministro (27/07/2015)
ACUERDO EN EL SECTOR, Coordinadora, Press Release (24/07/2015)

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