Administration makes an offer of major investments to strikers

The executive branch offered striking dock workers a basket of goodies Monday that totaled 406 billion colons, about $833 million.

The deal includes about 35 billion colons ($53 million) invested directly in improvements at the port of Moín. There also would be at least two state-of-the art container handling cranes.

And the executive branch promised to revive the  Proyecto Limón Ciudad Puerto, which was an ambitious plan to beef up the infrastructure of the central canton of Limón, including sewer systems.

Casa Presidencial said that the striking dock workers asked for 48 hours to consider the offer.

A good part of what was being promised already has been promised by previous administrations but the money never materialized.

Also on the table are 270 billion colons ($495.5 million) to improve the Braulio Carrillo  highway, the main roadway that feeds cargo into the port area.

Víctor Morales, the minister of Trabajo, told the strikers that the administration wants to see the public agency running the port to recapture its role as the port authority and the focus of development in Limón, according to Casa Presidencial.

That agency is the  Junta de Administración Portuaria y Desarrollo Económica de la Vertiente Atlántica. known as JAPADEVA. The strikers are members of the  Sindicato de Trabajadores de JAPDEVA. and they have been out since Wednesday.

The principal concern of strikers is that a new, $1 billion container handling terminal will eventually take away their jobs. That container handling facility still is awaiting an environmental go-ahead, which may be some months ahead.

Meanwhile, the Fuerza Pública is supervising both the Moín and Limón docks, and work has been reported to be normal, although strikers disagree.

Strikers also were told that the administration will conduct a study of possible niches for economic activity and impact that might be created by the terminal that APM Terminals will run as a concession.

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