March 2, 2017 / 7:32 PM / 9 months ago

Spanish dockers call off March strikes

MADRID, March 2 (Reuters) - Spanish dockers have called off two days of strikes scheduled for March 6 and March 8, a union spokeswoman said on Thursday, but it is uncertain whether another seven days of stoppages will go ahead.

The strikes were suspended after opposition political parties said they would not support a bill drawn up by the minority government allowing importers and exporters to hire and fire dockers, the spokeswoman said, making it less likely the measures would pass into law.

Spain’s cabinet passed a draft law on Friday to end closed-shop hiring at ports. The government’s parliamentary minority means it will have to seek consensus with other parties to get the bill passed into law.

Companies currently have no say over hiring and firing at Spanish ports. The new measures aim to permit them to choose their own staff rather than being bound by union-approved lists.

Around two-thirds of Spain’s imports and exports pass through its ports and prolonged industrial action could be especially painful for the automobile industry and chemical sector. (Writing by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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