Panama Canal Pilots Not Renegotiating Bargaining Agreement

The Panama Canal Pilots’ Union, a labor organization representing 256 professional pilots, has decided not to initiate renegotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2014, a right afforded to the Union, and the ACP, under the current Agreement, the Union said in a release.

“What the Panama Canal Pilots’ Union wants is for the Panama Canal Authority to concentrate on keeping the Canal safe and efficient, specially at a time when they seem to have lost the right course when it comes to Canal operations,” said Captain Rainiero Salas, Secretary General of the Union.

Captain Salas characterized as false the assertions made by the Panama Canal Authority in a press release issued on October 1st, where they claimed that the actions taken recently by the pilots’ Union were motivated by the upcoming negotiations and were intended to satisfy their personal aspirations at the bargaining table.

“With this decision we want to make clear that our main interest is to maintain a safe and efficient Canal, with strict compliance to applicable navigation rules and good seamanship standards. Our customers and the Nation deserve no less,” the release read.

 The Panama Canal Pilots raised their voice against not being involved in the consultation and development process of the expansion of the canal by the Panama Canal administration.

The Union said it was concerned about potential dangers behind the intended navigation proposals as they believe them to be unsafe.

Press Release, October 13, 2014; Image: Panama Canal/ Capt. Jose Lin Young

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