European Parliament rejects Ports Directive

26 November 2003

European Parliament rejects Ports Directive

In a huge victory for the militant workers who organised a series of demonstrations against the liberalisation and deregulation of Europes port services, the European Parliament this week voted by 229 to 209, with 16 abstentions, to reject ultra-liberal proposals from the EU Commission.

The rejection of the new ports directive by the European Parliament is a great victory for the workers who would have been affected by it,said Erik Meijer, Euro-MP for the Dutch SP and co-ordinator for transport issues for the United Left Group (GUE-NGL).

The directive would have meant that dock work would have been opened up to untrained, poorly paid workers. Dock workers from all over Europe have been demonstrating outside the parliament at each stage of the debate, and a few weeks ago I participated in a massive demonstration in Rotterdam against this attempt to steal the bread out of peoples mouths. I want to send my congratulations to all who took part, and to all dock workers who will benefit from this victory.

Dutch and Belgian unions feared that Rotterdam would become a playground for cowboy companies. They maintained the pressure on the European Parliament to reject the new neoliberal law right up to the last minute. For Meijer, the vote represented a historic decision. It is the first time that EU legislation has been thrown out as a direct result of Europe-wide action of this kind.

source: www.spectrezine.org

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