Limón dock workers union takes terminal plan to court

The Sindicato de Trabajadores de Japdeva, the dock workers union, has asked a court to order the central government to delay action on plans for a new port facility in Limón.

The union said that it needed the delay while it presents a case before the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo. Legal action from the union was expected.

The Terminal de Contenedores de Moín is the cornerstone of the government’s plan to modernize Limón.

The tribunal has the role of reviewing the actions of government agencies. Japdeva is the Junta de Administración Portuaria y de Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica, the government agency that runs the ports.

APM Terminals has won a concession and plans to put $1 billion into the area to build a new, modern container facility. The union correctly believes that the new facility will put the old government docks out of business. The union also has turned down a government buyout plan that might have meant six-figure payoffs to some workers, depending on seniority.

The union claims that the terminal firm has not done an environmental impact study and that construction might jeopardize nearby water sources.

Cargo handling in the Moîn docks are generally regarded as some of the world’s most inefficient. In addition, the union has a history of going out on strike.

The Cámara Nacional de Bananeros also filed a case against the project because its members fear they will have to pay more to ship containers of bananas.

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