Productivity at Spanish ports has taken a major blow amid the ongoing industrial action taken by the country’s stevedore unions.In some cases there is up to 70% decrease in the work pace of stevedores and unloading of ships, the country’s employers’ association Anesco said.According to the association, the “selective production cuts” are causing considerable economic loses for companies, and the transport sector in general.Spanish Ministry of Public Works informed that the first week of strikes cost the country over EUR 36 million, about 12 million for each day.Out of EUR 12 million, EUR 2.5 million corresponded to land transport, EUR 5 million to stevedores and the rest was divided between tugs, pilots, licensees of commercial services and logistics operators.However, a greater damage is being done to the reputation of Spanish ports, according to the Minister Íñigo de la Serna, as numerous companies are diverting their calls from the country’s ports, including shipping conglomerates such as Maersk.So far, Maersk Line is said to have withdrawn 15 calls from the country, including the maiden call of Madrid Maersk, hurting the port of Algeciras the most, which will in turn most likely be left with half a million less movements than it had planned.Anesco said the slowdowns were being employed as a means of pressuring companies into further negotiation with the unions.Spanish dockworker unions launched a nation-wide strike on Monday, June 5, impacting operations across the country’s 39 cargo ports. According to the representatives of the Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar (Coordinadora), a Spanish dockworkers union, almost 100 percent of workers supported the strike, which is over 6,000 stevedores.The workers are demanding that companies keep their employees and maintain the same working-conditions after the implementation of the port-reform.At the moment, all dockworkers have an indefinite contract with their companies. Nevertheless, under the new regime, the companies would be given a choice to decide whether to keep them as employees or not.Last week, Anesco called on the unions to resume dialogue and stop the strikes and productivity slowdowns.Spanish media reported that the parties are expected to return to the negotiating table on Tuesday in order to hammer out a deal that would result in resuming of normal operations across the country’s ports.Jose Antonio from Coordinadora said that the union would be entering the talks with the best intentions.“We want to avoid more stoppages, they are not good for anyone.”Should the talks fall through, the unions would resume with plans to strike this week as well, from June 14th, 0800 hrs till June 16th 0800 hrs. In addition, dockworkers said that they would stop work at odd hours on June 19th, 21st, 23rd, resulting in only 50% of workable time.World Maritime News Staff
A trail of pill bottles stolen from a Florida pharmacy led detectives to a home where they found two men who matched descriptions of the robbers seen on surveillance video.According to officials with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the duo and an accomplice robbed a CVS in Clearwater at around 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day at gunpoint. They also bound the employees with zip ties.The robbers got away with more than 10,000 pills containing the opioids hydrocodone and oxycodone, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Those drugs had a street value of about $320,000.However, the men left behind some important clues.The surveillance video captured them fleeing in a white Chrysler 200. They also emptied pills from bottles, which they threw from the car’s window, creating a trail which guided detectives to the home.Investigators believe the trio planned the robbery, going as far as to stake out the location out the day before, according to The Times. Detectives noticed one of the robbers casing the store in the surveillance video they reviewed.The two men, 19-year-old Christopher Rachell Jr. and 19-year-old David Dobbins, were arrested later New Year’s Day.Dobbins’ cellphone contained video of the men in a room with a bed that was piled with pills and clear plastic bags, reports add. Other videos show them handling a white garbage bag, which is the same kind seen in the pharmacy’s surveillance video.The videos also helped investigators to identify the accomplice, 18-year-old Roy Lampkin, who can be seen handling the white bag. Detectives also found his fingerprints at the scene.Lampkin was seen on video entering the CVS at 3:52 a.m. on Jan. 1, apparently asking the pharmacist a question. Authorities caught up to him on Feb. 5 and charged him with drug trafficking.All three men are still in jail.Rachell and Dobbins are each charged with two counts of trafficking in illegal drugs, three counts of false imprisonment and one count of armed robbery.Dobbins is being held in lieu of $280,000 bond. Rachell is also charged with oxycodone possession and is being held in lieu of $282,000 bond, while Lampkin is charged with two drug trafficking charges and remains behind bars on a $1 million bond.