By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
With the Limón dockworkers union poised to strike, President
Luis Guillermo Solís promised Tuesday he would not allow a job
action to affect the operations of the port.
If a strike is called, Solís may have to send police into the
Moín terminal to keep his promise. A prolonged strike might mean
temporary non-union workers.
Costa Rica has been down this road before because the Sindicato de
Trabajadores de Japdeva y Afines Portuarios has called strikes
repeatedly in the past.
Presidential action might have been foreshadowed earlier this month
when Fuerza Pública officers and traffic police cracked down on
pirate taxi drivers who were blocking a major highway in Hatillo. There
were arrests and vehicles were confiscated.
Previous administrations have been reluctant to confront strikers and
considered blockades, work stoppages and similar to be the right of
workers. Protesters paralyzed the country several times over the
American Free Trade Treaty
the Abel Pacheco and Óscar Arias
The big difference now is that the government holds the upper hand
because there is extensive public support for the controversial $1
billion container handling facility. And union members have alienated
some due to the disruptive way they broke up a hearing over the
Still, the government is hopeful that there will not be a strike The
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said Tuesday that the
new container facility run by APM Terminals would not be a monopoly and
that 40 percent of the goods that pass through the Moín docks
in containers. Jorge Mora of the Consejo Nacional de Concesiones, who
way quoted saying this, was trying to assure dockworkers that they
would not lose their jobs. He also said that the new terminal, because
it is a concession, will
always belong to the state.
No one is expecting a reaction from Solís similar to that of
president Ronald Reagan, who fired striking air traffic controllers in
1981, or the way president Harry Truman sent in the Army to run U.S.
railroads in 1950.