On 12 December 2014, at Sectorial Social Dialogue Committee for Ports regular meeting, the European social partners adopted their first joint statement. It aims to give a clear political signal that employers and trade unions from the 4 representative sector organizations – Fiport, ESPO, ETF and IDC, are willing to work together. The overall objective is “the improvement of working and living conditions for the people employed in the sector as well the competitiveness and productivity within EU ports”.
The document also highlights the role of the social dialogue at national level and respects its specifics and achievements in different countries. The social partners are firmly in the opinion that only their agreements on reforms and reorganization have place in European ports. The European Commission is directly urged to refrain from own legislative initiatives. The document emphasizes that the main objective now is to maintain the social peace in the ports, which can only be done through social dialogue; the role of institutions is primarily to provide good conditions and assistance for it.
The statement also says that social partners have already started working on industry defining topics such as training, working conditions and gender equality. A discussion follows on innovations in ports – both market based and technological, as the only way for European ports to remain competitive.
The full text of the Joint Declaration of the European social partners in Ports will be translated and made available immediately after its official publication.