After four days of intense negotiations, the 5,000 striking workers of the Cobre Panama mining project managed to see the conflict resolved by the signing of an agreement between the Union of Construction Workers (SUNTRACS) of Panama and the Canadian company FQM Construction and Development S.A., part of First Quantum Minerals.
The agreement signed between both parties, with the mediation of the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development (MITRADEL), among other points recognizes the need to seek solutions to several labor claims, among the following: an investigation to elucidate acts of violence occurred during the labor conflict, consequent salary increase to the concept of mega construction project, safe and healthy conditions, medical attention and medicines for all workers, defined labor contracts, among others.
Further conversations tended to search real solutions to workers' complaints will begin on February 22nd at the headquarters of MITRADEL in the Panamanian capital. In the words of the General Secretary of SUNTRACS Saúl Méndez, also Regional President of the Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) for Latin America and the Caribbean, "the strike showed workers' preference for SUNTRACS, which will now have access to the construction and camp areas of the company to develop union activities and ensure that labor laws will be properly complied". "The negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement between the parties will begin on May 17th, 2018", informs General Secretary of SUNTRACS.