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Workers protest low pay under Panama Canal expansion project

11-25-2010 14:30 BJT

PANAMA, Nov.24 (Xinhua) -- Workers employed in the Panama Canal expansion project Wednesday held a demonstration demanding payment for extra working hours and improved working conditions.

The workers "are tired, and the company does not follow through with regular payment of salaries," Luis Samaniego, the spokesman for the protesters, said in a letter sent to Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli.

The protesters marched 10 kilometers from the Cocoli sector, in the western zone of Panama City, to the center of the capital, passing over the Las Americas bridge that crosses the canal at the entrance to the Pacific Ocean.

Representatives of the protesters later had a meeting with those of the president, who agreed to raise the issue with the international consortium in charge of the project.

The consortium groups Spanish firm Sacyr Vallehermoso, Italian company Impregilo, Belgian company Jan De Nuel and Panamanian company Constructura Urbana.

The expansion of the Panama Canal is expected to take seven years and finish in 2014 with total costs of 5.25 billion U.S. dollars.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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