San Francisco: On-strike dockworkers at Peru’s main Port in Callao reached a contract agreement on Friday and looked likely to sign a deal with the port operators to end their industrial action, now three weeks in.
The strike had started to hurt the efficiency of the port, and to make a dent in the national economy despite the employment of Peruvian Navy personnel as strikebreakers.
The agreement includes amendments to the deployment of an electronic rostering system that had been a major bone of contention between the SUTRAMPORPC union and APM Terminals.
Initially APMT said the new system was needed for work-efficiency reasons and the union saw it as a way to undermine organized labour. But latterly it has emerged that APMT was using the computer programme at the behest of the police who suspected some dockworkers of helping smuggle drugs by hiding packets in export containers.
The strike was also about more traditional things such as better working conditions for the union’s roughly 650 members at Callao.
Last week APMT laid off 130 workers, replacing some of them with the navy personnel. It’s not clear if those workers can be reinstated.