COSTA RICA NEWS — The striking dock workers of the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Japdeva (Sintrajap), will be returning to work this morning Thursday, following their union’s suspension of the strike after reaching an agreement with the government.
Normal port operations at the Limón and Moín docks are expected to resume this morning after two weeks of strike and protests.
Part of the deal is that dock workers will not face any financial penalties such as a reduction of wages, although the Tribunal de Trabajo (Labour Court) has declared the strike illegal.
The agreement, which was possible with the intervention of the Defensora de los Habitantes (Ombudswoman), Montserrat Solano, is a starting point for dialogue between the parties over their dispute of the concession contract for a megaport the government signed with the Dutch company, APM Terminals.
During the 15 day strike, workers participated a series of protest marches and blockades of roads and nightly violence that saw the burning of tires and setting fire to at least one truck, resulting in 107 arrests.
The workers went on strike on October 22, days after the Supreme Court said it had suspended all appeals against the APM Terminals contract, giving the green light for the private company to start construction of the megaport project.
The Sintrajap, representing the workers of the state agency, the Junta de Administración Portuaria y de Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica (Japdeva), said the contract – in particular clause 9.1 – would create a monopoly in favour of the foreign company, to the detriment of the workers, the province and the country.
While the administration of Luis Guillermo Solís did not yield in its defense of the contract, it did regarding punishment for the strikers, despite on Monday saying it would not negotiate any eventual forgiveness.
Ann McKinley, president of the Japdeva, confirmed Wednesday night there will be no financial penalties for those who return to work this morning Thursday.
That declaration allowed the union to make the surprise move of suspending the strike while negotiations continue.
Also, both sides made a call for a stop to all the violence in the port city.
Vandalism Will Be Punished
The Ministro de Seguridad Publica (MSP) – Minister of Security – Celso Gamboa, however, warned that there will be no negotiated forgiveness for the acts of vandalism during the strike.
Source: La Nacion; Telenoticias; CRHoy