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Iberia – Spanish dockers threaten to join Portuguese counterparts

17 August 2012

Following on from the Portuguese dockers strike against very short term contracts and temporary work adapted to the ports', which we reported yesterday. The BBC monitoring service reports that in a letter sent to the Portuguese secretary of state for transportation, Sergio Monteiro, the Spanish Labour Confederation of Port Workers criticizes the change in labour legislation for the sector in Portugal and professes its readiness to join the Portuguese stevedores' struggle.

The grounds for this threat is the conviction that the Lisbon government's ideas will open the way for "other European governments to use the pretext of the current crisis to impose the same liberalization policy on port activities," states the above mentioned letter, whose contents were divulged by the Jornal de Negocios.

The Spaniards do not consider this to be a Portuguese problem but rather a European one and they make their position very clear. They are ready to take part in more protest activities so that the European Union understands "that if the Portuguese government persists down this path, then all European ports will strike along with the Portuguese stevedores." They also point out that a conflict of this nature would be harmful to European economic recovery.

The letter also asks Sergio Monteiro to explain what the secretary of state was referring to when he stated a few days ago that Portugal is going to be a testing ground for what the European Union wants to do in the European market.

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