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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..."

Photo: APM TERMINALS

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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