Dockworker strikes hit Spain for €110m

The recent stevedore strikes in Spain on June 5th, 7th, 9th and 14th cost the country €110m ($123m, the Spanish Ministry of Public Works has said.

A 48-hour strike began last Wednesday after the workers were unable to reach a job-guarantee deal with employers’ association Anesco. The association is reported to be reviewing a new framework agreement that has been proposed by the unions for the regulation of labour relations in the stevedoring sector, which it was hoped would bring the dispute to an end.

During the 48-hour stoppage, 34 ships were diverted from Spanish ports, including 19 ships in Algeciras, 7 in Valencia, and 6 in Barcelona, as well as two ships from the port of Vigo. The terminal operator lost 17,000 movements in Algeciras and had 12 diverted ships, resulting in a cost of €895,000 and the faolure to unload 1,000 import containers.

The Ministry said that the strike had a major impact on the Spanish economy. Companies have been diverting their ships to competing ports such as Sines, Marseille-Fos, Genoa or ins some cases as far as the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam,

The Ministry said that the strikes were reducing the export capacity of the Spanish production system. Algeciras was said to be likely to lose 70% of its traffic this year after Maersk-APTM announced that it was evaluating alternative routes.