European Court on Major Law: only working with recognized dock workers is possible, but recognition must be done differently

The Court considered the Major Law at the request of the Council of State and the Constitutional Court. Not only were the judges in Luxembourg asked whether the Belgian scheme, which provides specific rules for the employment of dock workers, is inconsistent with EU law, they were also asked whether they could provide additional criteria to determine whether the scheme was the bracket can.

In its judgment, the Court does not completely renounce Belgian law. The Court ruled that only a recognized dock worker may load and unload ships in the Belgian ports can be justified in order to guarantee safety in the ports and to prevent accidents at work.

“That may justify a restrictive regulation in a dock labor recognition procedure,” said Stefaan Van der Jeught, spokesman for the Court of Justice. The Court does add that, in concrete terms, this still has to be tested by the Belgian Constitutional Court and the Council of State.


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