Container workers at Rotterdam strike for 24 hours over job security concerns

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands – Container workers at Europe’s largest port, Rotterdam, have gone on strike for 24 hours in an attempt to force management back to the negotiating table for talks on job security.

A spokeswoman for the port, Nadine Vos, says seven container ships already docked are likely to be affected along with three more expected to arrive during the strike.

FNV union spokeswoman Mariette van Dijk says that 800 workers are expected to be involved in the strike, which started midafternoon Thursday.

Unions want a deal with employers that will prevent enforced job cuts before 2020 despite machines increasingly taking over the work of harbour workers.

Rotterdam’s port is a key gateway to Europe for goods shipped from around the world. It handled 3.7 million containers in the first half of 2015.