Agreement between SETC and employers re-launches negotiations in Portuguese ports

20 Feb 2014

During a meeting held in Lisbon on 14 February 2014, the Dockers’ union SETC and the port operators’ associations AOP and AOPL have reached an agreement which puts on hold the industrial actions that have been taken by Portuguese dockers over the last two years. (click here for an overview of the causes and history of the dispute)

Social partners, which met at the presence of a representative of the Portuguese port authorities, have agreed that:

  • The term for the negotiations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement would be extended until September;
  • The 47 dismissed workers would be reinstated, as permanent or as casual workers;
  • No more workers will be employed in the alternative labour pool. The 21 already employed will be a part of the existing labour pool as casuals;
  • Hiring priority will be given to professional dockworkers, then to the reinstated casual workers and eventually to the new employees from the new labour pool;
  • Lawsuits to the employers and to the union will be suspended;
  • More professional training will be provided to all workers;
  • Social partners agreed to maintain social peace during the negotiation of the collective agreement.

ETF Dockers’ Section Chair, Terje Samuelsen commented: ‘This is a great step forward for the Portuguese unions and excellent news for all European Dockers. Once again, the pressure put by international solidarity played a crucial contribution to the achievement of this result. We will keep doing our best to ensure that all the other current disputes, notably the ones in Norway, are settled with such a positive outcome.’

Over the last months ETF and its members have supported the Portuguese dockers through political and industrial actions in several European countries.