Contributed by: Don WinnerFinally, the Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) has agreed to the repeated calls by the Panama Canal Authority, and tonight after more than five hours of meetings, they promised to resume work on the project to expand the Panama Canal on Thursday morning, said the ACP in a press release.
The ACP announced that when work resumes on the project, they will pay the GUPC $36.8 million, for work billed during December 2013.
This money will be used to pay the paychecks for the workers, as well as to cover other obligations to suppliers.
Another 72 hours were given as a deadline, in order to agree on points such as the delivery dates for the lock new gates, an implementation schedule, a schedule for repayment advances, and other key aspects for the development of the project.
These decisions, adds the ACP statement, occurred during telephone conversations between the ACP and the directors of Impregilo, Sacyr Vallehermoso, Jan de Nul and Constructora Urbana, the companies composing the GUPC.
The press release ends by saying there are still some topics upon which the sides have not yet reached an agreement, but it does not say what they are. (TVN)
Editor's Comment: The GUPC finally came to the realization that if they didn't get back to work, then the ACP really would (no shit) throw them off the job, hire someone else to complete the project, then sue them for the excess costs. They went into this gaggle thinking they had a strong negotiating position, and acted like they could use a combination of extortion and blackmail to simply demand 1.6 billion dollars - above and beyond the contract they signed.
The answer from the ACP was simple. No.
Over the ensuing six weeks, the GUPC came to realize exactly how incredibly weak their negotiation position is, in reality. Now they will be forced to meekly return to work, after having been kicked in the balls. They might be able to finish the project, but they will take a loss doing so. The $1.6 billion simply is not going to happen.
Silly Europeans, thinking they could come to the land of the "juega vivo" and get over.
In short, they got their asses handed to them. They signed the low-ball contract for $3.118 billion then tried to force the ACP to pay them 50% more. Nope. Not going to happen that way, fellas.
Forget about making a profit. They will be lucky if they can get out of this without taking massive losses. So who's low-balling who now? The ACP flipped their gambit on its head. Books will be written about these negotiations for use in future business management classes. The GUPC will be used as an example of how not to do shit, while the ACP has proven themselves to be more than capable of dealing with this situation, admirably.