European ports waiting for news from Rotterdam

Ports across Europe are currently keeping a close eye on how the conflict in Rotterdam's automated Maasvlakte II terminal develops. "We are not as such opposed to automation," says ITF, the International Transport Workers' Federation. "But..."


What will be the cost of getting the automated terminal in Rotterdam, Europe's largest port, up and running?

The answer this question is not just a matter of euros and dollars. It is to a large extent also a matter of the opposition coming from the strong unions organizing the port workers - an opposition that was illustrated last week through the first 24-hour strike in the Port of Rotterdam in 13 years, and through the threat from union FNV Havens - the pacesetting of the three Dutch unions in the port - that more strikes could be underway if the negotiations, that might be resumed now, fail to produce a result.

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