Union: Some 40 Ports workers in limbo since PPP for cruise terminal operation announced
By The Star Staff
The president of the Piers Employees Union, Luis Malavé, said Thursday that the labor situation of up to 40 Ports Authority workers remains in limbo, a month after San Juan Cruise Port took over the operations of the San Juan Bay cruise terminals in a public-private partnership (PPP).
In August, the government announced that San Juan Cruise Port, a subsidiary of London-based Global Ports Holding, will take over the repair, design, construction, financing, maintenance and operation of piers 1, 3, 4 and 11 to 14, and Pan American I and II of the Ports Authority as part of a 30-year concession.
At the time, Ports Authority Executive Director Joel Pizá Batiz said some 78 of the estimated 500 Ports workers were going to have the choice to work with San Juan Cruise Port, which has its own retirement system, or continue to work with the government. He said some workers will be given incentivized retirement or work with other agencies.
Malavé said the change is impacting some 30 to 40 workers, as a portion of the 70 workers have retired. The group includes a few Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) workers who had been transferred to the Ports Authority after PREPA’s transmission and distribution system was put under the control of LUMA Energy.
Since the new PPP was announced, Malavé said neither Ports Authority officials nor those of San Juan Cruise Port have approached the union to discuss the fate of the workers.
“We are here waiting,” Malavé said, adding he has sought a meeting with Pizá Batiz that may take place next week before approaching the private operator.
“The executive director should be a facilitator in all of this,” the union leader said.