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Monday, September 01 2014 @ 07:25 PM EDT

Panama Canal Expansion Strike Enters Sixth Day - Negotiations Continue

Canal ExpansionNegotiations between the consortium consorcio Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) and the construction workers who have been on strike since Monday who are building the third set of locks as part of the project to expand the Panama Canal continued their discussions and negotiations on Saturday, 21 January 2012, at 11:00 am at the headquarters of the Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development in Plaza Edison on Tumba Muerto, mediated by Labor Minister Alma Cortez. Juan Arce, a spokesman for the strikers, told La Prensa that during the previous days of negotiations the workers have been lowering the percentage of the wage increase they are demanding because they have noticed the government's willingness to negotiate. The government made a proposal for a 5% increase, which was countered by the workers with a demand for $8.25 per hour for skilled laborers and $5.15 per hour for assistants, that according to the spokesman "is a salary that is commensurate with reality." On the other hand, Arce said yesterday, Friday, after having spent more than eight hours in negotiations, they failed to reach an agreement, so therefore the workers will remain on strike until they receive a definitive answer. "The important thing in these negotiations is to reach a favorable agreement for all," he said. The striking workers continue to demand a wage increase, the payment of overtime worked, better security and safety on the job site, improved transportation for the workers, and other requests. (Prensa)
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