Stevedores at Port of Lisbon extended strike until end of January 2016

by Viliyana Filipova 0

Port of Lisbon stevedors

Port of Lisbon stevedorsThe stevedores in the Port of Lisbon extended their strike until the end of January 2016, due to unpaid salaries for December. The dockworkers’ union started the strike on 14th November, as their previous collective bargaining agreement expired and there were long negotiations between port authorities and employees. The long negotiations and protracted talks started in March 2015 and were abandoned several times from both sides, which are too far away in requirements for new collective bargaining agreement. The situation became harder after the December wages were delayed. Yesterday, the dockworkers and terminal operators have agreed to resume negotiation to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, for which initial discussions were abandoned in last year after no fewer than 36 meetings had been held.

The stevedores in the Port of Lisbon are asking for better working condition and higher salaries in the new collective bargaining agreement. The both sides are away in their vision of the new contract, but started new negotiations for 37th time since November. The stevedores are also protesting against the cheaper foreign labor force, which flooded the port operators after the acquisition of Portuguese port management company TERTIR by Turkish Yıldırım Group during the last year.

Following the stevedores strike, the operations at Port of Lisbon are seriously disturbed and cause problems for handling of vessels. The shortage of dockworkers gangs delay the loading and discharging, which cause in big demurrages of the shipping companies, mostly general cargo ships, container ships and slightly bulk carriers.