The port of Algeciras (Cádiz), the most important in Spain, has completely stopped its stowage and unloading activities for one shift due to the absence of all its staff at their posts, as reported by the Port Employment Center (CPE) Algeciras Bay.
In a press release, the CPE has reported that on the day of 8:00 p.m. yesterday, March 31, it has been impossible to meet the request of the stevedore companies of the Port of Algeciras, “due to the lack of availability of the fences of 1,800 workers on its staff. “
“The absence of workers has led to the paralysis of stowage / undock activity in both work centers -in APM Terminals and in Total Terminal International Algeciras-“, adds the note.
The CPE Bahía de Algeciras explains that this absence occurs after representatives of the workers and the management of the stevedore companies and the CPE have held work meetings with the aim of establishing the best operations at the Algeciras terminals at this time. and to reinforce hygiene measures to minimize the expansion of COVID-19.
In the course of these meetings, the works council had proposed “the establishment of a plus or payable economic guarantee to the workers of the stowage during the validity of the state of Alarma decreed by the Government of Spain”.
The representation of the management of the CPE and of the stevedoring companies has exposed the workers “their total opposition” to offer financial compensation to the staff “for the development of the usual professional activity”.
“It would be an obvious disloyalty with the exemplary behavior of other professional sectors that have been doing their daily work for long hours and in direct contact with the disease,” explains the CPE.
The CPE details that the Royal Decree declaring the status of Alarm provides “expressly” in its article 18 the classification of port activities as essential and mandatory for stowage companies and workers.
“The paralysis of the terminals in the afternoon of today entails a clear breach of these legal obligations,” states the note. The management of the Bahía de Algeciras Port Employment Center and the stevedore companies has made “an appeal to the representation of the workers “of the port of Algeciras to” proceed to the unblocking of any measure “that prevents the operational operation of the container terminals in Algeciras.
The president of the stowage works council, José Antonio González, has pointed out that the stoppage has affected the 20:00 shift, but that the activity would continue on the 2:00 shift and the 8:00 shift: 00.
In statements to EFE, he explained that the stowage and de-stowage staff is 40% less staffed, with around 400 workers on leave and many others with permits requested due to the current alarm situation.
González reported that the staff has been working “without PPE, without masks, without gloves” to protect against the coronavirus and that “fear is free.”
Given the lack of personnel, it is not possible to “keep up with the hands (working groups) that companies are asking for,” according to the workers’ representative, who reported that, due to the lack of staff availability , the port has been paralyzed on the 20:00 shift.