Rotterdam Dockworkers’ unions FNV Havens and CNV Vakmensen are ready to call for a mobilisation of their members after the failure of negotiations between the unions, the port authority and the employers.
On Friday 11 December the employers and port authority have left the negotiating table where discussions were being held with the unions on the financial contribution the port of Rotterdam is expected to pay to compensate the social consequences of automation and overcapacity in the container sector.
“Those who decided to increase capacity and to build automated terminals should cover the social costs of their choices“, said Niek Stam, leader of FNV Havens and member of the ETF Dockers’ Section Steering Committee. “For many years we have warned about the dangers of expansion and automation plans but the port authority always refused to engage in a meaningful dialogue. We expect that up to 800 people will lose their job. This is not fair nor sustainable and workers are not ready to pay the price for inadequate business choices” he added.
During the past weekend assemblies with the workers were held at every shift. On Friday 18 December the union FNV Havens will organise two meetings with their members to submit to the workers the offers made by the employers. If these are being turned down, the unions will send an ultimatum to their counterparts. In case an agreement is not being found after the ultimatum, the unions will call for strikes as from the 1st of January 2016.