European marine trade hit by austerity strike

14 November 2012 (Last Updated November 14th, 2012 18:30)

Trade at European ports has been hit as anti-austerity protests called by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) spread across the continent.

Trade at European ports has been hit as anti-austerity protests and strikes called by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) spread across the continent.

According to maritime services provider Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), strikes in Portugal are being carried out by the Union CGTP, but not officially by UGT.

Container terminals have been closed in Spain and Portugal at the ports of Lisbon, Aveiro Valencia and Algeciras.

ISS said employees are working in Leixoes and Sines, while terminals and depots have been stopped at Setubal and Margueira Lisnave Drydock.

Sporadic labour troubles have been reported in various Spanish ports, including Vigo and Valencia.

All Greek port operations were stopped for a three-hour strike in the country on 14 November.

Many cruise ships in Europe are shifting port calls to keep away from the anti-austerity strikes.

Royal Carribbean said that the 3,634-passenger Independence of the Seas is skipping a call in Lisbon, Portugal, and instead will be docked in Lanzarote, Spain.

Another ship, Celebrity Cruises’ 1,950-passenger Celebrity Constellation, will stay at sea instead of visiting Vigo, Spain.

ETUC General Secretary Bernadette Ségol, explaining the reasoning behind the strikes, said: "By sowing austerity, we are reaping recession, rising poverty and social anxiety."