Panama: Victory after 11 days of strike at Canadian mining company FQM

22 March 2018 14:10


After 11 days of complete stoppage of work for the 10,000 construction workers of the mining complex Minera Panama SA, subsidiary of the Canadian First Quantum Minerals (FQM), the Union of Construction Workers (SUNTRACS), has signed a new agreement. The steps for the resumption of work are established. The agreement is the result of a negotiation of more than 50 continuous hours, mediated by three national ministers.

Many benefits are included in the agreement. Among these:

  • The company reaffirms the terms of the Agreement signed on February 18th, after 4 days of strike;

  • The dismissed workers will be reinstated;

  • Commissioned members indicated by SUNTRACS will be rehired at the end of their current employment contracts;

  • 50% of the non-worked hours during the strike will be paid and there will be no reprisals;

  • SUNTRACS is recognized as the representative union of workers at the project and, therefore, a SUNTRACS Office and food for 10 people will be allowed in the camps;

  • Affiliation fees will be deducted by payroll and transfer directly to SUNTRACS;

  • Life insurance is offered to workers whose costs will be covered directly by Minera Panama;

  • Bonus for perfect attendance for the workers;

  • The parties agree to establish the applicable salary on the construction site taking into account its special nature. This will be decided at the time of the collective negotiation of a list of requests that will begin on May 17th, 2018;

  • OHS talks at work for 1 hour per month divided in equal parts by the company and the union.

Despite the balanced terms of this agreement, the relationship between parties in a more respectful manner needs to be improved. The company will have to make a great effort of training and coaching its supervisory members to prevent them from repeating the mistreatment that gave rise to a good part of the conflicts.

The BWI will continue paying attention to the implementation of this Agreement with its affiliate SUNTRACS, while consulting with the unions of the other FQM projects in the world.