Construction in Crisis

Construction activities in Panama have been paralyzed for 17 days, and even government intervention does not seem to have had an effect on the apparently immovable position of the workers' union.

Friday, May 4, 2018

In a statement issued yesterday, the Panamanian Chamber of Construction announced the wages and benefits that would be obtained for construction workers, according to what is established in the collective agreement.

The impact of the strike is already being felt on the development of large projects, such as construction of Metro Line 2, and the expansion of Tocumen International Airport. 

President Varela called on both sectors, builders and workers, to reach an agreement that will put an end to the strike. Prensa.com reports that "... The sectors have a bittersweet flavor with regard to the Executive's call, which could be interpreted as an intrusion in a delicate process in which wage increases for workers is at stake and the consequent effect on the finances of construction companies."

See also "Central America: $1.6 billion in office construction"

"... Varela suggested that a wage increase of around 14%  in four years, that is to say, a 3.5% annual increase."

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More on this topic

Panama: Construction Strike Ends

May 2018

30 days after the strike began, employers and workers have finally reached an agreement on the scale of salary adjustments for the period 2018-2021.

From a statement issued by the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (CAPAC):

May 18, 2018. The Panamanian Chamber of Construction (CAPAC) informs its members and the general public that today, May 18, a salary agreement was reached with the National Union of Construction Workers and Similar (Suntracs). 

Construction Paralyzed in Panama

April 2018

Unions and business leaders are still in negotiations to end the strike that has been going on since last Wednesday, affecting all construction projects in the country, including the expansion of Tocumen and Metro Line 2.

The work stoppage has affected almost 100% of the works under construction in the country, from private projects to other state run projects, such as the expansion of the Panama City airport and expansion of the Metro. 

Panama: Impact of Strike on Construction Industry

April 2014

Panamanians will suffer from expensive housing and a contraction of the economy if companies accept the demands imposed by the union, which remains on strike.

Although both parties resumed talks on the morning of Friday April 25, the possibility of reaching an agreement still seems distant, as the union is holding to its demand to increase wages by 107% over the four years of the new collective agreement.

Construction Strike in Panama Postponed

April 2014

Business Chamber and Workers Union have agreed to continue negotiations which has postponed the threat of a general strike for 20 days.

It is estimated that losses to the Panama construction sector could be more than $9 million a day if the general workers strike takes place. The workers are demanding, among other things, that a single wage scale be established at a national level.

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