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Strike Escalates with Disruption of Cargo Service

By on July 30, 2021

The union that paralyzed the transportation of cargo at San Juan ports since July 17 and a company that refuses to agree to one of its demands related to operating a software system that could accelerate the delivery of shipped goods continued negotiations Friday. 

Representatives of both parties met Thursday at the Labor Department but the meeting concluded without any meaningful progress.  

The standstill between the Port Workers Union (UTM by its Spanish initials and affiliated with the International Longshoremen’s Association AFL-CIO), and Luis A. Ayala Colón Sucrs. Inc., one of the largest stevedoring contractors and shipping agencies in Puerto Rico, has resulted in a significant disruption in the delivery of cargo. 

“We are not asking for more money. The people of Puerto Rico have been affected, but we are also hit,” said Víctor Aponte Torres, vice president of the UTM, a syndicate that represents around 1,100 stevedores in Puerto Rico. 

The controversy has boiled down to Navis, software that the company wants operated by its nonunion personnel. The union declared the strike, which impeded the distribution of nonessential goods, but many companies have claimed the disruption is having dire effects on pharmaceutical manufacturers and other companies, as well as basic services.

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