ECJ cuts Spain port labour fine –

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has fined Spain €3m ($3.4 million) for failing to meet a deadline to liberalize its dock labour system. A penalty of around €24m had been expected, based on daily fines it had ordered Madrid to pay for failing to comply with its December 2014 ruling that the closed-shop system breached the EU’s freedom of establishment, reports Journal of Commerce. The EC lodged a second complaint against Spain last year after the country failed to meet a September 2015 deadline to open up the system used to hire stevedores. In May this year the minority centre-right Popular Party government won parliamentary support at the second attempt to reform the system, but this resulted in more strikes by the country’s 6,150 registered dockers. The reforms agreed will permit ports, terminal operators, and stevedores to employ non-union labour. The dockers’ unions called off their strike campaign at the end of June after striking a deal with employers over job security under the new rules.