According to a press release issued by the Panama Canal Pilots’ Union, (who represent more than 250 professional pilots), it has made the decision not to start renegotiations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a right afforded to the Union under the current Agreement.
“What the Panama Canal Pilots’ Union wants is for the Panama Canal Authority to concentrate on keeping the Canal safe and efficient, specially at a time when they seem to have lost the right course when it comes to Canal operations,” said Captain Rainiero Salas, Secretary General of the Union.
Captain Salas characterised as false the assertions made by the Panama Canal Authority, where they had claimed that the actions taken recently by the pilots’ Union were motivated by the upcoming negotiations and were intended to satisfy their personal aspirations at the bargaining table.
“With this decision we want to make clear that our main interest is to maintain a safe and efficient Canal, with strict compliance to applicable navigation rules and good seamanship standards. Our customers and the Nation deserve no less,” the release read.
The Panama Canal Pilots raised their voice against not being involved in the consultation and development process of the expansion of the canal by the Panama Canal administration.
The Union said it was concerned about potential dangers behind the intended navigation proposals as they believe them to be unsafe.