Business leaders upbraid  lawmakers over ports strike

Riot police arrive on second day of the strike

1,558Views 0Comments Posted 28/07/2019

The   Chamber of Commerce. Industry and Agriculture (Cciap) has criticized the position of some members of the National Assembly over the strike of Panama Port workers who have been on strike since July 17.

On Sunday, July 28 the Chamber issued a statement: “It would be expected that this would be understandable for some deputies of the National Assembly, now dedicated to stimulating the irresponsible attitude of leaders who seek the promotion of chaos, instead of recommending the exhaustion of the pathways of conciliatory and constructive dialogue to find solutions.. The country does not forget the unfortunate experience left by the destruction of the banana activity, on account of intransigence, ” [te repression of strikers in Changinola including deaths, blinding and injuries] “

The Cciap said that workers' labor rights do not conflict with national interests, and urged dialogue to emphasize the importance of guaranteeing legal certainty to attract new investments to the country.

The Chamber emphasizes that Panama has made an effort to position itself as a logistics hub in the region, so that the work stoppage in Balboa, the main port in the Pacific, would reduce the country's competitiveness.

'Panama awaited a different attitude from all those who are currently members of the Legislature. That is to say,  the transcendental task of producing beneficial laws for the country, among them, those that modernize the labor order for the immediate needs. of the economic model that has allowed our growth, "says a press release.
The Chamber does not identify who would be the deputies who would be "stimulating" the "irresponsible attitude" of some members of  the Industrial Union of Workers of Dockers and Allied Transport (Sitravaap) , which paralyzed the work of the port and require the negotiation of the collective agreement to the period 2019-2022, which has not been possible until now because there are resources presented by  Panama Ports Company (operator of Balboa), which have not yet been resolved by the Supreme Court .
Because of the strike, the merchandise could not be landed, and the connectivity of the Panamanian port system that works in coordination with the railroad and the movement of land merchandise from coast to coast has been affected.
Last Friday, the Maersk shipping company reported that four ships were in this situation, while three ships from the Ocean Network Express (ONE) shipping alliance also had to be redirected to other ports.
The Cciyap urges the parties to the conflict to discuss and consider the "nefarious" results that the strike has on the country's logistics chain. 
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