The National Union of Workers of the Construction Industry and Similar Industries (SUNTRACS) of Panama, called a national strike on April 18 due to disagreements with the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (CAPAC) on wage increases for the next four years.
The General Secretary of SUNTRACS, Saúl Méndez, said that the strike was declared because the negotiations between the union and CAPAC, which have been going on for months, have not led to an agreement to increase salaries. "SUNTRACS does not want the strike, we just want to achieve the signing of the collective agreement 2018-2021," emphasized Méndez.
Still on strike, union and CAPAC negotiators are still sitting at the negotiating table.
SUNTRACS requires adequate large-scale works salaries and salary increases per year for each category. The last offer by CAPAC to SUNTRAC was 2 cents per hour, representing only 4 dollars per month. While the union demands an increase of 15% per year on current salaries.
Sources of the union, based on official data, have indicated that the construction industry in 2016 generated profits of 8,104.5 million dollars, while in 2017 these gains were of 9,125.6 million dollars.
The Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) calls on all its affiliates in Latin America and the Caribbean and the rest of the world to express their support for the demand for wage increases, as well as for better conditions of I work in the industry in Panama.