The positive spirit that prevails within the European Social Dialogue for Ports should not be undermined by local developments
For the second time in a row, the Social Dialogue Committee for Ports meeting has not been held.
Last March 1st, 2017, the Social Dialogue for Ports meeting in Brussels was interrupted after IDC and ETF delegations decided to leave in reaction to national developments in Spain.
Yesterday, as a consequence of the decision of Employees’ organizations to call for a European strike on the day of the Social Dialogue meeting, social partners could not meet either. This has resulted in the further postponement of the launching the study on “The Changing Face of Ports: socio-economic impact of market-based and technological developments on EU ports”, as well as a suspension of the discussions about training and qualifications, health and safety in ports and other items on the agenda.
FEPORT and ESPO are disappointed by the above mentioned decisions which have a negative impact on the spirit of cooperation and jeopardize the possibility to make real progress on important issues for employers and employees.
Since it was established in June 2013, the European Social Dialogue for Ports has provided good opportunities for fruitful exchanges between employers’ and employees’ representatives at a moment when the port sector is facing tremendous challenges. The dialogue process has also allowed social partners to raise awareness about the essential contribution of port stakeholders to the EU economy and its growth.
FEPORT and ESPO remain committed to the Social Dialogue process but would like to underline the fact that that the competence of the social partners is a European one. It is essential that the attendance to the Social Dialogue meetings does not become a matter of negotiation or a means to put pressure at national or local levels. The Social Dialogue for ports belongs to all partners and this should be acknowledged and respected by all parties.
FEPORT and ESPO look forward to continuing a constructive dialogue with ETF and IDC in the framework of the Social Dialogue Committee for Ports and that work will restart again after summer.