The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has criticised the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)’s handling of tug boat crew reductions and said the local union should have been consulted.
The ACP has removed the additional captain position from its tugboats’ crews and claimed the move would provide captains with an improved working schedule and reduce the demand to perform overtime, but did not consult the Union de Capitanes y Oficiales de Cubierta (UCOC) on the move.
In a statement, the ITF said: “While the ACP acknowledges that the concerns highlighted by the UCOC, the ITF and its unions about extreme working conditions in the new locks are real, the ACP has failed to engage with the professionals represented by the UCOC.
“The ACP has not opened a dialogue, which would allow the UCOC’s members to provide their expert advice on how to improve the transit operations, including respect of workers’ rights.”
The ITF has subsequently urged the ACP to re-evaluate “the way it conducts its industrial relations”.