Dockworkers at Peru's top port reach deal to end strike -union

viernes 5 de junio de 2015 17:50 GYT

LIMA, June 5 (Reuters) - The dockworkers union at Peru's biggest port, Callao, has reached a contract agreement to end a three-week strike, with provisions that include improved benefits and modifications to a system for scheduling shifts, union officials said on Friday.

Members of the union, SUTRAMPORPC, have voted to back the deal and will sign it with the company late on Friday, general secretary Geraldo Honores said.

The stoppage since May 13 held up imports and will likely stoke inflation, an exporters' association said earlier this week.

The union represents 650 workers at Callao's northern terminal, which is operated by APM Terminals. APM, owned by A.P. Moller-Maersk, did not immediately respond to requests for official comment.

The workers went on strike to press for better working conditions and to protest a new system for selecting shifts.

APM Terminals had started using a computer program to schedule shifts after police said some dockworkers were helping smuggle drugs out of Peru by hiding packets in export containers.

Peru is the world's top producer of cocaine, according to the United States.

Union spokesman Juan Carlos Vargas said APM Terminals agreed to improve benefits for workers and make adjustments to the computerized shift-selecting system.

The northern terminal handles 75 percent of Callao's capacity, especially shipments of foods and basic goods.

Inflation jumped a higher-than-expected 0.56 percent in May, leaving the annual rate slightly above the central bank's target ceiling for a third straight month.

(Reporting by Teresa Cespedes; Editing by Leslie Adler)