Surigao City port resumes operations

Operations at the port of Surigao City has returned to normal after protesting workers entered into a compromise with the management on Friday.

The protest, which started Monday, crippled services at the port and affected the flow of goods into the Caraga region, which is made up of the two Agusan and two Surigao provinces.

Romeo Cagas, director of the Department of Labor and Employment
in Caraga, said members of the Surigao Dockworkers Union ended their five-day protest and accepted a compromise with Prudential Custom Brokerage, Inc. (PCBI).

The protest started when the PCBI management rejected the demands of the port workers for an increase in retirement, salary and health benefits.

Upset by the rejection, some 157 port workers on Monday barricaded the port entrance, hampering cargo handling operations, passenger movement and other services.

Cagas said negotiators used a “Solomonic formula” to force the parties into coming up to terms and end the dispute.

Cagas said the workers and the management agreed to go back to the negotiating table while continuing the port’s operation for mutual benefit.

“The protesting workers will also not be penalized,” he said.

Gil Pepito Pacqueo, National Food Authority director for Caraga, said with the end of the protest, the more than 150,000 sacks of imported rice intended for the region could now be unloaded.

“It’s a relief because we can now unload the rice from Vietnam, which is vital in augmenting rice supply for Caraga,” he said.

Pacqueo said, however, that the dispute between the workers and the port’s management should be resolved as soon as possible because protests could erupt anew and disrupt operations again. (inquirer.net)

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