A draft royal decree is currently being prepared to implement the recent Royal Decree Law 8/2017, amending the regime for workers providing cargo-handling services at Spanish ports.

Royal Decree Law 8/2017, stipulating a progressive liberalization of the Spanish dock workers regime, was approved to comply with a CJEU judgment delivered on December 11, 2014. Briefly, the judgment held the Spanish dock workers regime incompatible with EU law because it was at odds with the freedom of establishment.

The new draft, basically defining matters related to employment and professional qualifications, has the following main features:

  • It establishes the conditions on which, by covenant or a collective labor agreement, the transfer will take place of the dock workers of the Stevedoring Management Company (Sociedades Anónimas de Gestión de Trabajadores Portuarios or SAGEP) to the companies holding licenses for cargo-handling services at Spanish ports.
  • It allocates aid to enable some dock workers to take early retirement with 70% of their salary. The potential beneficiaries of this aid are dock workers who, when the Royal Decree enters into force (if it does) are up to seventy months’ younger than the ordinary retirement age, after applying the related reduction coefficients (if applicable).
  • The industry’s labor policy negotiators will be able to negotiate a pay reduction equal to 10% of the compensation of dock workers whose gross monthly income is 5% higher than three times the amount of Spain’s minimum wage.