Costa Rica intervenes to stop strike at port, arrests 68

miércoles 22 de octubre de 2014 23:14 GYT
 

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica Oct 22 (Reuters) - Costa Rican police arrested 68 people in the country's main Atlantic port on Wednesday after a strike over plans to expand the hub threatened to paralyze shipping.

Workers at Puerto Limon's Moin and Limon terminals, which handle about 80 percent of Costa Rica's foreign trade, went on strike to protest a $1 billion expansion concession granted to APM Terminals, a unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk.

The stevedores' union, SINTRAJAP, launched an indefinite strike on Wednesday, leaving three ships stranded and unable to unload cargo after APM Terminals won a Supreme Court decision this month against the union's efforts to block the concession.

The union says the concession, which was first agreed in 2011, threatens public sector jobs.

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis ordered the docks to be re-opened and some 150 police officers broke the strike, arresting 68 men and women in both terminals.

Security Minister Celso Gamboa said police would remain at the terminals for an indefinite period to keep them open.

Costa Rica's government says the expansion plan would quadruple the amount of cargo that the Caribbean port can handle. Costa Rica has some of the worst-rated port infrastructure in the region, according to World Bank data. (Reporting by Zach Dyer; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)