Gov Police Move In To End Strike At Costa Rica's Caribbean Ports: Dockers Fighting Privatization Of Ports


Gov Police Move In To End Strike At Costa Rica's Caribbean Ports: Dockers Fighting Privatization Of Ports

Police Move In To End Strike At Costa Rica's Caribbean Ports


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 worsens 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.
From Inside Costa Rica


Early Morning Violence in Limón As Dock Workers Say They Will Defend With Blood

Dockworkers in Limón, Costa Rica, have been rebuffed by the government in their attempts to discuss impacts on the community from the proposed building of a private terminal by APM Terminals.

Following the police action to take back the docks of Limón and Moín, representatives of the Sindicato de Trabajadores de JAPDEVA said they will not stop their protest. Ronaldo Blear, head of the SINTRAJAP union, said that if the workers will not hesitate to defend their position with blood.
Early morning violence broke out in the streets of Limón, as workers clashing with police, burning tires, the throwing of stones, and the burning of trailers filled with bananas, among other violent acts. Reports of shots being fired are under investigation.
The violence began late Thursday and escalated as the night wore on, with areas like Cieneguita being a hotbed of the conflict. Clashes between police and strikers was also reported at the Tony Facio hospital.
The union says emphatically that the docks are not working normally, because “police do not know if the container comes filled with is drugs, weapons or radioactive material”
Government officials confirmed they have control of the ports following days of protest that paralyzed all loading and off-loading of ships in the Caribbean port, a port that moves almost three quarters of all container shipments in the country.
While police authorities continue with their operating of the docks, the JAPDEVA is seeking to declare the strike illegal.