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Friday, August 22 2014 @ 05:35 PM EDT

IDAAN Workers Might Go On Strike Over Privatization Fears

Protests & DemonstrationsWorkers of the Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (IDAAN) could go on strike on 9 July 2012. Yesterday, after making a march from Carrasquilla to the IDAAN headquarters on Via Brazil, the workers asked the Government to give them a satisfactory answer on 7 July, when they go to the Presidency, otherwise they will use other methods to create pressure. Rafael Mejia, the Secretary of the IDAAN Employees Association, said the main concern of employees is over the possibility that some workers will be fired when a new entity is created. According to the leader, the project has items that allow privatizing some services. The employees of this institution, who yesterday held a rally at the headquarters of the IDAAN, demanded that the director, Abdiel Cano, enable the payment of the salary scale which was agreed in January. Cano has said the increase will be implemented when authorized by the president.

The bill creates a new structure for the IDAAN. It contains 163 articles and 15 chapters, and seeks to modernize and reorganize the water and sanitation sectors.

The IDAAN Is Not Functional - Health Minister Franklin Vergara said yesterday the IDAAN does not have functionality. He said despite their best efforts, the institution has no budget nor qualified personnel to carry management. He said the do not want to privatize the institution, but to create an Institute so that the resources destined for all of the entities involved in providing service and go to just one. (Siglo)

Editor's Comment: Concur. The IDAAN is broke and it needs to be fixed. As usual, the deeply entrenched long-term IDAAN employees are afraid they will be fired once the old IDAAN goes away and whatever is created to replace it arises. And yes, the proposed Bill does allow for the outsourcing of some of the functions that were formerly carried out by the IDAAN, but they (these protesting workers) are doing a poor or inefficient job. The IDAAN is one of the most broke-dick agencies in the entire Panamanian government. These guys should be worried about being fired...

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