Collective bargaining processes and outputs in the EU ports sector

28 Jun 2013

The ETF Dockers’ Section ran in 2012-2013 a project, co-funded by the European Commission, on ‘Monitoring collective bargaining processes and outputs in the EU ports sector’. The project’s objectives included:   

  • Performing a thorough analysis of social dialogue practices and applicable collective agreements in the EU ports sector, so as to allow the ETF Dockers Section to map applicable working conditions, bargaining agreements and build up knowledge on port management and operators of European ports; 
  • Allow ETF affiliate unions to exchange information on collective bargaining and, if needed, establish common strategies towards multinational companies and/or at sub-regional level. One of the added values of this initiative was that a big part of the budget was used to translate collective agreements into English, so that these are accessible to most of the members; 
  • Enhancing the capabilities of ETF affiliates to prepare for changes in the port sector through the exchange of knowledge on wage developments and the exchange of best practices for training and safety standards agreed through collective bargaining; 
  • Ensuring the active inclusion of ETF affiliates from the new EU Member States in the network of ports sector affiliates and enhancing their capabilities for negotiation; 
  • Exploring methods of organisation to form a self-sustainable and long-term network to exchange information, including the feasibility of setting up a database. 

The project was coordinated by the ETF Secretariat in cooperation with EVA Academy, and it was run through a survey of ETF affiliates conducted as interviews and questionnaires. Moreover, collective bargaining agreements in the port sector at national, port or company level were collected, translated and analysed. The research work was done, on behalf of the ETF and EVA, to Labour Research Department (LRD).

A final conference in the framework of the project was held in Genoa, Italy on 27 and 28 June 2013, gathering more than 50 ETF members, experts on industrial relations in ports and representatives of other European industry federations.

An 80-page final report, documenting the analysis of the agreements, was produced by LRD and was distributed to the ETF members.