Strike At Panama Canal Expansion Enters Second Day

Strike At Panama Canal Expansion Enters Second Day

Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 12:04 PM COT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 121
In both Cocolí and Gatún, the construction workers who are working on the project to expand the Panama Canal rejected the intervention of the leaders of the Sole Union of Construction and Allied Workers (SUNTRACS) in the conflict they have with the consortium GUPC. According to the workers, they have their own leaders and they do not need the leaders of the SUNTRACS labor union, who have failed to represent their interests. When the representatives of the SUNTRACS labor union went to the work area in Cocolí, the construction workers closed the doors and even threw some objects. The same thing happened at Gatún, where the protests have been intense, when SUNTRACS labor union leader Genero López showed up. This is the second day of the strike by the construction workers on the Panama Canal. (Telemetro)

Editor’s Comment: The SUNTRACS labor union only represents about 10% to 12% of all construction workers in Panama. They are by far the most vocal and politically active group, which is why you probably know of their existence – they manage to get themselves into the press often. Their politics are very far to the left, and they receive support, advice, and funding from Hugo Chavez and other elements of the extreme left (communist or socialist) movements in Latin America. Obviously, the guys who are working on the project to expand the Panama Canal just told SUNTRACS to shove off, which is a good thing. It means their labor strike will be much more about real labor and work place issues, and not just about the SUNTRACS labor union trying to hijack this strike to make some politically motivated headlines in the news. On the other hand, this is the second day of the strike. These are the guys who are working to build the new third set of locks on both ends of the canal. Losing work days in the middle of the dry season like this is critical – the workers know this, and that’s exactly why they timed their strike for now. Privately and off the record, the upper level managers at the Panama Canal Authority are admitting they know full well the Panama Canal expansion project will not be completed until sometime in mid 2015 at the earliest, and it might be delivered even later than that. They continue to fall further and further behind schedule with each passing day, and strikes like this won’t help things at all. The bottom line is that there’s no way in hell this project gets delivered on 15 August 2014. That’s not going to happen. Period. I expect this strike will be resolved relatively quickly.

Post a Response

Post a Response