Dockworkers' unions in Rotterdam are threatening January 1 strike action if their members reject the port authority and employers' current offer.
Dockworkers' union FNV Havens (FHV) Sunday said its members in the container sector had voted "massively yes" to take strike action in the New Year at the Port of Rotterdam.
The union said its members "almost unanimously" rejected a final offer from employers.
As Ship & Bunker previously reported, the workers are said to be hoping that the strike action will help achieve their demand for a guarantee of job security over the next nine years in the face of two new highly automated container terminals.
FNV director Niek Stam says they have presented an ultimatum to employers which expires January 6.
Niek Stam, Union Leader, FNV Havens
Those who decided to increase capacity and to build automated terminals should cover the social costs of their choices
Stam had earlier been quoted as saying that, "Those who decided to increase capacity and to build automated terminals should cover the social costs of their choices."
"For many years we have warned about the dangers of expansion and automation plans but the port authority always refused to engage in a meaningful dialogue."
FNV says it expects that up to 800 people will lose their job through automation.
"This is not fair, nor sustainable and workers are not ready to pay the price for inadequate business choices," said Stam.
This is not the first time that the maritime industry has entered the Christmas period facing the potential of a major strike.
Three years ago Ship & Bunker reported that U.S. East and Gulf Coast ports were facing major disruption from strike action.