Workers on the Panama Canal expansion are returning to work Monday after agreeing to new terms with their contractor, ending a six-day strike.
The multinational consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal, responsible for the construction of a third set of locks in the waterway, said in a news release that the workers have agreed to a 13 percent wage increase and will return to work Monday.
Workers received a pay increase amounting to $3.34 an hour, but sought a raise to as much as $10 an hour. The company has also agreed to pay back wages for overtime and weekend pay, which it attributed to bookkeeping errors.
Thousands of workers walked off the construction site at the new Panama Canal locks last week, demanding payment of back wages and better working conditions. The National Union of Workers in Construction and Allied Industries, the largest in the country, demanded payment of back wages as well as raise the minimum wage of workers on the site.
The canal is in the midst of a $5.25 billion expansion that will double its capacity when completed in later 2014. The largest element of the expansion project is the $3.2 billion construction of the locks by the United Group, a consortium of Spain's Sacyr, Italy's Impregilo, Belgium's Jan de Nul and Panama's Constructora Urbana.
The Panama Canal Authority said that traffic through the canal was unaffected by the strike.