Strike at Rotterdam Port Set to Suspend Container Operations

  • Workers to stop work for 24 hours in 1st action, union says
  • Crude tankers still able to dock as oil trade unaffected

Europe’s largest port in Rotterdam is set to halt container operations Thursday as workers start strike action over possible job losses, according to a union official. Oil trade isn’t affected.

The strike will start at 3:15 p.m. local time for 24 hours, Niek Stam, a spokesman for the FNV union, said at a press conference. The port employs about 3,600 workers, Nadine Vos, Rotterdam port spokeswoman, said by phone, adding the authority regrets the action.

Talks have stalled between the port authority and the FNV and CNV unions, which are seeking to avoid forced redundancies stemming from overcapacity and automation. Rotterdam tripled its container capacity last year with the opening of an area known as Maasvlakte II, a land reclamation project adjacent to deep water, according to its website.

“We don’t exclude further actions if our demands aren’t met and such action could include a 48-hour strike,” Stam said in Rotterdam.

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