Spanish parliament votes down EU port right-to-work edict 17

Time: 2017-03-22 13:44
SPAIN's Popular Party's bill to enforce a European Union court ruling and a right-to-work directive was defeated by a 175-142 parliamentary vote that stopped the abolition of the closed shop that governs Spanish ports.
The vote's immediate impact was to end the threat of dock strikes that seemed likely to spread throughout the Spanish transport sector.
But the vote also puts Spain in defiance of an order from the Court of Justice of the European Union, and a directive from the European Commission which also has the force of law.
The EU court held that Spain's stevedoring system breaches European law since it imposes barriers to entry on companies based in other EU states, thus ordering Spain to provide to a system allowing free choice in sourcing labour. Failure to do so results in daily fines of EUR22 million that could increase to EUR134,000 a day with continued defiance.
To avoid fines, the Spanish government passed a Royal Decree, which substantially amended the current stevedoring model.  Royal Decrees are immediately legally binding, but are only enforced after parliamentary ratification, which was expected given current parliamentary majority support for the big People's Party. 
Said the World Socialist Website: "The new law opens the door to mass redundancies, wage cuts of up to 60 per cent, using agencies to provide workers and slashing safety conditions."
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