European Parliament’s debate on PSR heads in the right direction

In the begging of May the EP TRAN Committee resumed its work on the proposed Regulation on market access to port services and financial transparency of ports (PSR). The meeting was attended by an ETF delegation which included union officials and workers in cargo handling and other port services from Belgium, France, Germany and the UK.

The German rapporteur Knut Fleckenstein opened the debate by stating his intention to make the chapter on market access evolving into a text tackling working conditions in ports. In his speech he acknowledged the support of Transport Commissioner Bulc for taking a pragmatic approach and to concentrate on financial transparency.

“Today, for the first time in years, we heard a fair approach to EU ports policy”, said ETF Political Secretary Livia Spera. “Worsening of working conditions and casualisation of labour are a reality for the sector. It is high time for the legislator to tackle the social consequences of the changes that affected maritime transport and port operations. Our members were at the European Parliament today to show their full support for Mr Fleckenstein’s intention to include a meaningful social dimension in the regulation. We were pleased to hear that many MEPs from different political groups could support this approach,” she continued. “It is clear that only a limited number of MEPs are advocating the worrying idea of a third port package, which would include liberalisation of cargo handling. As in the past, this idea would meet our strongest and firmest opposition.”