Panama Canal Strike Ended

A deal has been reached by the construction workers union Untraics and FCC-ICA-MECO ending a two-week strike at the Panama Canal.

The striking workers reached the deal on Saturday, January 3rd under which the management agreed to an audit on overtime payments, compensation leave along with the reinstatement of a fired colleague, writes the Panamanian newspaper La Prensa.

Around 1,000 workers launched the strike on December 23, according to AFP.

Union leader Abelardo Herrera is quoted by AFP as saying that a high-level committee would be tasked with deciding on payment for strike days.

The talks were mediated by the Labour Ministry.

The FCC-Meco-ICA consortium, comprised of Spain’s Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC), Mexico’s Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (ICA) and Costa Rica’s Meco, is in charge of excavation works on the Pacific side of the canal.

The Panama Canal expansion project has been faced with numerous setbacks since it began back in 2007, including strikes, cost overruns disputes and pushing of its completion date that had been set for 2014.

The project is 84 pct complete and is expected to become fully operational by early 2016.

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