- La Estrella de Panamá
The company Hutchison Ports PPC, which operates the Port of Balboa, on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, said this Friday that this port terminal is "adversely affected" due to a "illegal strike" of some workers, and others that prevent access to the facilities for wage demands.
So far three vessels have suffered considerable delays and two others canceled their berthing call at the Port of Balboa, "which translates into affecting the movement of thousands of containers that generate direct benefits for our country", the company said in a public pronouncement
The company stressed that this is compounded to "the loss of revenue in our operations in the national logistics chain and the impact on the supply of inputs that arrive in Panama from other countries".
"If this illegal stoppage does not stop and our operation does not stabilize at 100%, the losses for each of the economic sectors and the more than 1,500 collaborators of PPC (Panama Ports Company), will be dramatic", said the port company.
He recalled that in 2018 they went through a "difficult labor restructuring" due to the departure of an important client that represented more than 40% of the activity of the Port of Balboa.
Therefore, it remarked, "it is reprehensible that in less than eight months we have suffered three illegal stops, which are affecting the provision of the service that our customers deserve".
The port company indicated that since Thursday they have held meetings with the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development and the representatives of the workers "with the aim of suspending their actions at once".
They expressed in that sense that they have asked the competent authorities "to continue, objectively, mediating to resolve this labor conflict".
The work stoppage is registered in the middle of a salary negotiation, according to the local press.
In addition to Balboa, Hutchison Ports PPC also manages the port terminal of Cristóbal, on the Atlantic side of the waterway.