Panama Canal Strike Averted

The Panama Canal expansion project will continue as scheduled after the main contractor and designer of the Canal’s third set of locks agreed on wage increase terms with Panamanian construction workers’ union.

Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) and the National Union of Workers of Construction and Similar Industries (SUNTRACS) have agreed on a USD 4.81 hourly wage for qualified construction workers, and a 5% increase for other categories, to be paid retroactively as of July 1.

The workers previously earned between USD 2.9 and USD 3.37 per hour, depending on their qualifications.

GUPC and SUNTRACS have been negotiating the wage increase since June, but the situation heated up when the union announced the start of industrial action on Monday, August 10, if their demands were not met.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) says this agreement puts the Canal expansion project on the right track to be completed by April 2016, as scheduled.

World Maritime News Staff

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