After 20 Days, Panama Construction Workers Continue Strike for Better Wages


The union members of Panama’s largest union, Workers of the Construction Industry and Similar Industries (Suntracs), have been striking for nearly 20 days to demand better wages. 

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The striking construction workers emphasized that the current pay is insufficient and that the offer made so far is largely inadequate and doesn’t correspond to the income generated by the industry in the country. 

While picketing, the workers also pointed out that Aguadulce Minera that the company was violating agreements and dismissing workers. 

During the negotiations with the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (Capac) the representatives of the union flatly refused "to accept alms," as they affirm they "planted themselves hard before insensitive entrepreneurs who fill their pockets with the money that is the effort and sacrifice of their employees."

"@SolidaridadConLaClaseObreraPanameña #suntracs1 @frenadeso Since we @Chile @UBPChile support the Panamanian workers in their struggle #JuanCuevasCerd1 @FabCaballero @ciudadanatamara @profesormichael @ccuevasz @Antuanmetal @Sintrai @SindicatoPPP @MetroSindicato1 @ViceInterCUT"

The organization which has nearly 80,000 members nationwide said they will continue with the strikes Wednesday. The strike has halted nearly 95 percent of the construction work in the country.

The most recent wage hike proposal for construction workers in Panama is at 11 percent, four percent lower than earlier agreed. 

The industrial workers stressed that they are leading this historic struggle for better living conditions for the workers in the construction industry. The fight for a dignified wage includes obtaining a living wage based on a fair distribution of wealth produced by members. 

According to the journal Trabajadores, the profit in the sector totaled over US$30 billion in the last four years, pocketed by a handful of entrepreneurs. Meanwhile the wages for over 150,0000 workers totaled nearly US$450 million, just 15 percent of the total profits.

Capac has proposed a meager raise of four cents for general helpers and five cents for the qualified ones, which represent an annual increase of 1 percent.


Latin America News


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