STRIKES AND DELAYS FOR THE GROWTH OF THE PANAMA CANAL

 

The extension work of the third axis of the Panama Canal have slowed down again due to a strike nine days long announced by the Suntracs labour union aiming to a pay raise.



Already at the beginning of 2014 the extension work has been delayed because of the argument between the Authority of the channel and the GUPC consortium (Consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal) - a consortium involving the Italian Salini Impregilo together with the Spanish Sacyr, in Jan de Nul and Cusa, about an increase in the cost of the work extension amounting to $ 1.6 billion more than the $ 3.6 billion decided in the tender notice. This situation is the result of working days lost due to frequent strikes in Central America, where workers are demanding for better living conditions.
Later, however, the companies came to an agreement with the Panamanian administration and in March also Zurich, the company that deals with the insurance coverage of the work agreed to ensure also the over budget sum, pending that the international arbitration in Miami decides who should be paying.

Now, this second block of work in Panama ( order ended at 86%) causes concerns in the shipping world as the interruption of the work affects the realization of the project on schedule, resulting in increased costs, in addition to directly damage the competitiveness of the maritime industry and the image of Panama as a logistics platform.

 

 

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