Costa Rican port workers in Moín and Limón have announced they will go on strike in the coming days to protest against the privatization of dock operations, website Nacion.com reported.
Union (SINTRAJAP) leader Ronaldo Blear told the website the workers were against the lease and private operation of gantry cranes, proposed by the Atlantic Port Authority (JAPDEVA).
SINTRAJAP leader Ronaldo Blear
“They want to rent equipment for Moín while operating on the terminal of APM Terminals, and then they will take the equipment and leave the port without operational capacity, which is a smokescreen and we will not allow it,” Blear was quoted as saying.
“They want to pass an excellent business into private hands and leave 1,500 people without jobs.”
JAPDEVA president Allan Hidalgo said the board didn’t have much other choice but to rent equipment for the port of Moín.
“We have no money to buy the machinery and it’s more convenient to rent equipment, which includes the equipment itself, maintenance, spare parts and operators,” Hidalgo was quoted as saying.
Earlier this year Blear told the Tico Times the port needed US$80 million to buy equipment, which a government study showed could easily be obtained through the banking system.
“It is a perfect investment with no risk at all, and it would be fully repaid in three and a half years,” he was quoted as saying.
“Although the banking system is the obvious option, we shouldn’t forget that the government could provide those resources from its annual budget, if true improvement is what authorities are really after.”
“I can tell you is that we feel ambushed and persecuted, and ultimately we’ll have to fight in the streets for our jobs. We are prepared for self-defense in any forum. I think it will likely turn into an arm-wrestling match with strong support from the citizens.”