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Spain: Government goes after ship-loader monopoly

 |  February 28, 2017

Spain’s government has released a Royal Decree to free up the market for ship loading and unloading services across the country’s major ports. Congress will review and either confirm or deny the decree within 30 days. In response, Spain’s ship loader unions have called for a 9 day strike, beginning on March 6th.

Spain’s Ministry of Funding has said the decree will allow for the “maximum flexibility” allowed by the European Union’s treaty laws, which have hit Spain with a daily fine over the existing system for hiring ship-loading services. The Royal Decree’s text has already been approved by the European Commission, as well as several major shipping and port services companies. However, the same cannot be said of ship-loaders themselves, or their political backers.

Shiploaders are those in charge of loading and unloading cargo from commercial ships. Under the current system, any company that wishes to operate in the port must take part in an anonymous association for shiploading procurement (SAGEP), which has an effective monopoly on both the establishment of companies and over hiring personnel.

Full Content:El País

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