The central government does not impose, for the moment, arbitration on the port stevedores that Urkullu requests and Ábalos urges the parties to sit down to negotiate

Following the request of the Lehendakari to Sánchez to settle the conflict, the minister allies himself with Mendia's thesis to exhaust the negotiation against the imposition. Bilboestiba continues to ask for arbitration and says it will not sit down if the strike is not called off

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The central government has not yet imposed a forced arbitration in the conflict of the port of Bilbao stevedores, as the Lehendakari Urkullu has requested directly.

The arbitration has not been approved in the Council of Ministers this Tuesday and later, in the Senate, the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Jose Luis balos, has urged the parties in the Senate to sit down to negotiate to resolve the conflict and avoid having to go to mandatory arbitration.

Balos has responded to a question from the senator of EH Bildu Idurre Bideguren, about this conflict. Bideguren has acknowledged that it has “very negative consequences for the workers’ families and for the economy of the Basque Country”, but has urged that they opt for negotiation and not for the imposition that arbitration would entail.

In his reply, the minister has shown his concern about this conflict since the Port of Bilbao “is very important and of strategic interest for the entire northern area.”

For this reason, he has assured that the conflict has been followed by the Ministry, although he has clarified that his department does not have the capacity to act because, although the Port of Bilbao, due to its strategic nature, depends on Transport, to decree a arbitration would be done from the labor authority. In any case, it has reiterated the request to the parties to negotiate to avoid such arbitration. “We would not like to get there,” he said.

“Let’s avoid this forced arbitration and let’s start negotiating to find a solution that can improve the situation within the framework of European regulations”, he concluded.

The Minister’s commitment to collective bargaining rather than imposition coincides with the proposal of the Vice-Lehendakari and Minister of Labor, Idoia Mendia, who has repeatedly urged the parties to sit down to negotiate and prioritize collective bargaining as a solution to discrepancies between the parties.

However, as the conflict dragged on, which started on October 20 with shift work stoppages and has been total since November 9, the Lehedakari chose on Friday – without taking the matter to the Governing Council – to request Pedro Sanchez an oligatory arbitration.

Despite the calls for negotiation, the conflict does not have any signs of a quick solution. Today lBilboestiba employers have once again insisted on the need for arbitration Considering that he cannot sit down to negotiate the proposals of the unions because they are “illegal”. “They will not count on the company of the companies in their destructive journey to nowhere,” they tell the unions.

However, they reiterate that any type of negotiation must be “accompanied by the immediate calling off of the strike“.

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