Costa Rican president calls for end to strikes

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Costa Rican president calls for end to strikes

The Costa Rican president has called on unions and the banana industry to put an end to port strikes, after a final agreement was signed with Dutch company APM Terminals, website reported.

Laura Chinchilla

President Laura Chinchilla accused the protesters of putting commercial interests above Costa Rica's interests, during a speech in the port of Moin.

"I call on the banana transnationals to not put their own business interests before the national interest - it cannot be that they sacrifice the triumphs of this country for the sake of corporate interest," she was quoted as saying.

APM Terminals plans to build a new container port, but workers have been against the lease and private operation of gantry cranes, proposed by the Atlantic Port Authority (JAPDEVA).

Union SINTRAJAP and the National Chamber of Banana Growers (Canaba) filed suit against the State in the Administrative Disputes Court, claiming the concession project lacked the technical and environmental studies needed to ensure the viability of work, the story reported.

They also argued that costs would be more expensive as JAPDEVA charged US$180 per container but APM Terminals would charge US$223.

Canaba president Jorge Osborne told the website the case would continue, while SINTRAJAP secretary general secretary Ronaldo Blear said the president's words were 'disappointing'.

"I cannot agree with the words of the president when the contract passes 60% of JAPDEVA revenues to a transnational company. We will continue with our demands in the Disputes (court) until their final conclusions," Blear was quoted as saying.

"The government doesn't have anything to celebrate, these are very serious claims that are being made against this project. They know this is going to fall."

Related stories: Costa Rica: APM Terminals demands govt sign agreement

Costa Rica's port workers to strike

Photo: Info Costa Rica

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