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Customs officials in Panama might go on strike

Customs officials in Panama might go on strike

Panama City, Mar 22 (Prensa Latina) Officials from the National Customs Authority of Panama said that they might go on strike on Thursday due to non-compliance with previous agreements on incentives, salary adjustments and seniority bonuses.

According to one of the leaders of this group, Enrique Montenegro, in November 2022 they agreed with the Government to implement the career of the customs official that would seek to guarantee salary equity, but this is not being implemented as it should be.

The leader pointed out that 80 percent of the personnel earn approximately 750 dollars a month, while the remunerations of a few others are much higher and the budget allocated for this year does not respond and that of 2024 should take into account all these imbalances.

The customs officials propose that the adjustment of approximately four million dollars be financed with the Self-Management Fund, which includes 24 million dollars and is managed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).

The fund is fed by fines, surcharges, seizures and others, they said.

Analysts estimate that if the customs officials’ strike takes place, it will represent a failure for Panama, which, as from March 28, will begin the international trade, logistics and tourism fairs, which will bring together more than 500 business people.

The strike would also be disastrous for business people linked to the logistics sector who act as facilitators of the dialogue between Customs Director Tayra Barsallo and the officials.

The institution has a budget of 55 million dollars and contributes more than 1.33 billion dollars in revenues.


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