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Court accuses Rotterdam port union of abusing its power

A Dutch court has overruled the Rotterdam union FNV Havens in a case against APM Terminals and, to the surprise of APM, accused the union of abusing its position. FNV Chairman Niek Stam will now appeal the decision, which he describes as "stupid", and warns against the establishment of a 'yellow' union.

Photo: APM TERMINALS

The case was filed by port union FNV Havens and stems from the protracted dispute between port workers and operators in the Port of Rotterdam, which can be traced to the fact that upwards of 800 workers could lose their jobs due to increased automation in the coming years. To put and end to the conflict, APM Terminals tried to negotiate a deal with its employees while sidestepping the agreement that FNV Havens wants to make applicable to all operators in the Port of Rotterdam. The union believes that APM Terminals' attempt to lock down a special deal is in breach of the collective labor agreement (CLA), and the union thus filed a lawsuit against the terminal operator after an ultimatum expired on February 3rd this year.

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