From the article Panama Awakes by Jose Alcoff:
This past June 12, Martinelli’s government pushed Law 30 through the National Assembly after just four days of deliberation. Named the Chorizo Law, it mashed together parts of different bills that outlaw union shops, eliminate environmental impact surveys for industrial projects, make it more difficult to hold police accountable for abuses and killings and allow the permanent replacement of striking workers.
Observers claim Martinelli’s government is trying to undermine Panama’s labor laws to help win passage of the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement, which was signed in 2007 but has been stalled in the U.S. Congress. According to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service, “Panama’s relatively high labor costs (for the hemisphere) and inflexible labor laws can be a frustration if not an impediment to U.S. foreign direct investment.”
As a result, 4,200 bananeros at Bocas launched a 48-hour strike on July 2.
Read the full article here.