Costa Rica Caribbean ports of Moín and Alemán, in the province of Limón, continued to be paralyzed since Tuesday by a strike protesting government attempts to grant an exclusive concession, to Dutch Transnational APM Terminals for loading and unloading at a new pier.
In the early hours of this morning (Thursday) police were called in to intervene to service the six ships docked at Moín.
According to Allan Hidalgo, president of Japdeva, a Panamanian master was brought in to guide the work after officers of the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad Nacional (DIS) with the support of the Fuerza Pública, the Unidad de Intervención Policial (UIP) and Grupo de Apoyo Operacional (GAO) took control of the port.
Carlos Brenes, head of the workers union, Sintrajap, said in the early morning taking of the port by security forces worsen the negotiation process with the government.
The protest by members of the Junta de Administración y Desarrollo Portuario de la Vertiente Atlántica (Japdeva) has halted operations at both of Costa Rica’s most important ports, where, more than 70% of the national container traffic is handled, said Government Minister Carlos Benavides.
Union spokesman Jose Luis Castillo explained that the union is opposed to the monopoly which will cause many workers to lose their jobs.
The $990 million new pier is supposed to open in 2016 and because of the conflict with Japdeva, the government refused to dialogue,
Limón strike ‘Worrisome’ for pineapple industry
Costa Rica’s pineapple industry has expressed concern over the strike that has paralyzed the ports, leaving fruit waiting in cargo and unable to leave the country. Pineapple Producers and Exporters Chamber president Abel Chaves, said the blockade also caused potential problems for fruit in transit to the ports and the pineapples currently in harvesting.
“If an immediate solution is not found for this situation, in the case of pineapples and fresh fruit we would practically be putting our exports at risk for the fruit that has been harvested during this whole week,” he said.
“The problem is that the ships cannot possibly wait for much time in the bay and in the end will receive instructions. Ship captains simply won’t wait for the fruit.