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Tensions Heat Up over Panama Canal Safety Dispute

May 16, 2018

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The conflict started on April 12 when tug captains refused to transit ships through the expanded canal, thus impacting the traffic through the Neopanamax locks, ACP said.

As a result, the canal authority decided to sanction the workers saying that they broke the law by refusing to fulfill their duty “which affected the regular operation and caused a negative economic impact on the country.”

However, the Union of Tugboat Captains and Deck Officers of the Panama Canal (UCOC Panama) said the tugboat captains in question refused to conduct the maneuvering as it endangered the safety of crews and the canal as well.

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