ITF affiliate Sindicato de Trabajadores de JAPDEVA y Afines Portuarios (SINTRAJAP) signed a collective bargaining agreement with a Puerto Limon port security company on 18 July in Costa Rica, following extensive negotiations.
The employer has now accepted the agreement, which has been submitted to the labour ministry of Costa Rica.
The process began in May 2013, when 30 security workers at Puerto Limon Container Terminal decided to fight for better conditions through organising. Upon joining SINTRAJAP, union representatives approached the employers to negotiate better terms for members. The agreement contains many benefits including overtime payment, safety equipment, and wage increases based on Costa Rica’s minimum wage.
SINTRAJAP members have also decided to become an industry union, with the continued support of ITF and 3F. Now, any port worker in Costa Rica can join the union regardless of their job function, which has helped organise workers and strengthen the union.
Antonio Fritz, ITF Americas regional secretary, said: “This is a big step in Costa Rica, because SINTRAJAP is now a real and legal industrial union, playing a key role in the port transport union movement. The strategy we have implemented in the region to transform the union model is now delivering real rewards to our members. Now we have stronger unions representing more workers and a greater capacity to bargain”.