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EC ports plan: dockers weigh in

EC ports plan: dockers weigh in
Yesterday’s European Commission’s “Ports: an engine for growth” plan has come under fire yet again, this time by the European Transport Workers Federation.

The Commission’s Europe-wide port revamping plan, which has already proven to be controversial, having drawn criticism from the Port of Rotterdam on the day of its publication, has prompted “extreme concern” from the ETF about proposals to deregulate technical-nautical service such as pilotage, towage and mooring.

ETF political secretary Philippe Alfonso suggested that attempts to deregulate these services could result in "marine casualties that would pose a threat to the marine environment and put human lives at risk" if not "strictly defined and controlled".

“Even if dock labour is not included in the new regulation it is clear that liberalisation of port labour is still on the Commission’s agenda,” said ETF Dockers’ section chair Terje Samuelsen. “The strategy seems to have changed, as we have passed from comprehensive one-size-fits-all proposals to targeted interventions at national level.

“Furthermore, in its Communication the Commission clearly indicates its intention to come back on the issue of port labour in 2016. European dockers remain vigilant and are ready to fight back any attempt to deregulate their professions”.