Rotterdam port workers start one-day strike

The Rotterdam port workers are starting a 24 hour strike starting at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday. Unions FNV and CNV hope that the strike will bring all parties back to the table to discuss more job security in the port. If it does not work, more strikes will likely follow, newspaper AD reports.

This is the first time in 13 years that the Rotterdam port workers are striking. The intention is to bring all terminals in Rotterdam to a temporary standstill. According to the unions, 3,300 of the 3,600 workers are involved in the action.

The unions are concerned that the introduction of highly automated terminals on the Tweede Maasvlakte will result hundreds of jobs being lost in the container sector. They are therefore demanding a guarantee that there will be no forced redundancies until at least July 2020, with the possibility of extension.

FNV and CNV made arrangements with unions in Antwerp, Le Havre and Hamburg to avoid shipping companies diverting their ships to competing ports because of the strike. According to the newspaper, these other unions will show solidarity by trying to ensure that no ships actually destined for Rotterdam are unloaded in these ports.