After a tense week due to the strike in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica and a long day of negotiations, the Japdeva union and the government reached a resolution at 2 am yesterday, which allowed to reopen the docks of the Port of Limon which -so far- had remained closed and guarded by police. However, this solution was not entirely satisfactory, especially for the plaintiff.
Union secretary Ronaldo Blear, said SINJATRAP still disagrees with granting exclusivity to the company APM Terminals. Blear insists that the contract must be modified so that APM Terminals does not get the exclusive management rights of foreign containers as this would leave Japdeva’s management out and they wouldn’t be able to load and unload containers on the dock.
In fact, Blear said, if Japdeva’s union finds it necessary they will not only use legal means to prevent the foreign company from handling the exclusivity, but they could also resort to closing the streets once again and manifesting even more strongly to reclaim their demands.
The local Limon Labour Court outlawed this demonstration under the notion that it “can cause serious damage to the economy, people and goods in general.” As noted by Judge Paul Sanchez Valverde. According to sources, the strike caused $300 million in losses, however, the strikers could also appeal the judge’s decision.
Carlos Ricardo Benavides, Secretary of State, said he is pleased with what he calls a rapid government intervention.
As a result of these negotiations it was also decided that the Government will invest $70 million, equivalent to 35 billion colones, to modernize and expand the port docks in Moin and Limon as well as to purchase the machinery required to maximize effectiveness at those ports.
To meet this commitment, the Minister of Finance, Edgar Ayales, will negotiate a loan from the BCIE and/or BID and admitted not knowing if the loan was actually going to be approved. Fortunately, the President of BCIE is currently located in Costa Rica and Minister Ayales plans to take the opportunity to address the issue.
The array is divided as follows: the Costa Rican government will pay $40 million, while according to the minister, Japdeva must take a loan to cover the remaining $30 million.
This negotiation must get approval from the Assembly before the project can go through.