Employers remain optimistic about the European Social Dialogue for Ports

02 March 2017

The European social dialogue on ports was established in June 2013 by port employers and employees to identify challenges faced by the sector, improve health and safety conditions and raise awareness about the essential contribution of port stakeholders to the EU economy and its growth.

No less than 2.2 Million ships have called EU Ports in 2012. More than 300.000 workers are directly employed by port employers who are committed to ensuring a high level of efficiency, health and safety.

Since 2013, the social partners have been working on issues that fall within the competence of the Social Dialogue for Ports (i.e. training and qualifications, attractiveness to young workers, health and safety as well as promotion of female employment). Employers’ representatives are very much attached to the European dimension of the ongoing European Social Dialogue for ports because it allows constructive discussions that will help the sector to continue to play its vital role for the EU.

During the Social Dialogue for Ports meeting held today in Brussels, the employees’ delegations has decided to leave in reaction to national developments in Spain. The employers’ delegations regrets this decision and wishes to remind that the competence of the social partners involved in the Social Dialogue for ports is a European one.

The employers’ delegations remains committed to the social dialogue process at European level and believe it is the relevant forum for addressing issues outlined above. For this reason, the employers’ representatives decided to resume today’s meeting and to proceed with the agenda.

Among others, the employers’ delegations expressed its satisfaction about the future launching of a study on “The Changing Face of Ports: socio-economic impact of market-based and technological developments on EU ports”. The request for funding of this study, which has been made by all social partners some months ago, has been recently accepted by DG Employment.

Port employers are convinced that the study will contribute to identifying the key challenges that EU ports are facing and how the industry is adapting to change and preparing the future.

The employers’ delegations look forward to constructive discussions with the employees’ representatives on said issues during the next social dialogue meeting of 29 June. 

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