There is no sign of a breakthrough in the indefinite dockworkers’ strike at the general cargo facility in Callao, Peru, now into its second week.
The industrial action by members of the Sturamporpc union, an affiliate of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), at the APM Terminals (APMT)-operated facility began on 13 May.
APMT spokesman Tom Boyd told IHS Maritime, “APMT Callao container operations are running normally. General cargo operations are only running at limited capacity in spite of almost 100 navy and white-collar volunteer personnel available to work in the port.”
Boyd said that the use of navy personnel to work general cargo was allowed under Peruvian law. “Stevedores are considered a casual work force so if they don’t show up, it is OK to use other workers,” he said.
According to APMT, the strike has been caused by opposition to a new electronic roster system at the facility, which replaced a paper-based system through which union leaders controlled worker allocation at the general cargo terminal. APMT maintains that the electronic roster system allows for greater security, safety, and transparency of work practices at the port.
“We are in constant dialogue with the Peruvian government and its agencies about the strike,” Boyd said. “There is broad support [within the government] for our stand for security.”
Sturamporpc maintains APMT has refused to negotiate with its members over claims for fair pay and accuses the company of acting illegally by using workers who lack expertise and are therefore not authorised to unload at port.