Today, 25 January 2016, the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN Committee) adopted its report on the so-called Port Service Regulation (PSR). This legislative proposal is crucial for the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) as it touches upon several groups of workers represented by the Federation, especially in tugs and cargo-handling.
“The rapporteur, Knut Fleckenstein has done a huge work trying to balance the text according to the points of view expressed by the relevant stakeholders,” said ETF Dockers’ Section vice-chair, Torben Seebold. “We had asked the TRAN Committee to be more ambitious on social articles, but we believe that the PSR resulting from this vote presents several improvements compared to the original text,” he added.
“We are particularly pleased that the EP rejected the market access elements”, Seebold continued. “This is the third time: hopefully the lesson has been learnt and no similar proposals will come up in the future. The new article 10.a, on which we could find an agreement with FEPORT, is a good step forward. We are, however, very concerned about ongoing attempts to dismantle port labour schemes. We are not going to stare at the precarisation of our jobs and the worsening of our working conditions: when dialogue falls short, international solidarity is ready to be implemented” he concluded.
A positive element for the ETF is also the exclusion of pilotage and the recognition of its fundamental role for safety.
Voicing the unions representing workers in tugs, Jean-Philippe Chateil from ETF French affiliate FOMM UGICT CGT declared “The initial text was very worrying because of its potential negative impact on existing social standards in the tug sector in some EU countries. A joint effort was made at institutional level to listen to our concerns’. He added ‘Satisfactory solutions could be found to avoid opening the door to social dumping. More political courage would have been needed on some aspects, notably on transfer of staff, as not all EU countries have legislation protecting workers’ rights when the tug operator is replaced”.
“We’ll do all we can to make sure that the enhancements are kept by the Plenary and by the upcoming three-way negotiations and that further improvements are introduced,” concluded Livia Spera, ETF Political Secretary for Dockers.
For more information go to: http://www.etf-europe.org/etf-3642.cfm