ITF condemns the Panama Canal Authority issuing sanctions against tugboat captains
The International Transport Worker’s Federation (ITF) condemns the actions of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in issuing sanctions against Tugboat Captains.
The Tugboat Captains are refusing to perform operations in the Canal because they have serious concerns regarding health and safety after the ACP’s unilateral decision to reduce the number of crew on the tugboats. This is compounded by concerns they have previously raised regarding the excessive overtime being required of Tugboat Captains, which has led to fatigue and is having a grave impact on their health and wellbeing. The same concerns were also raised by the independent National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) in their findings, which uncovered that the cause of the collision was due to fatigue because of excessive working hours.
The ITF is astonished and disappointed that the ACP has taken such an adversarial position against the workers and the Union de Capitanes y Oficials de Cubierta (UCOC) when all they want is to ensure safe operations in the Canal. The ITF strongly encourages the ACP to withdraw the sanctions and enter into a constructive dialogue with the unions