The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

The U.S. Counterattack in Central America

Jose Maria Villalta, a pro-union candidate for president, was a front runner in Costa Rican polls until a propaganda campaign was waged by the U.S.-backed oligarchy.

At peak moments of the “war on drug trafficking” or for “humanitarian activities”, there may be dozens of ships at Costa Rican bases, from aircraft carriers to amphibious vehicles, […]


Costa Rica: Gobierno impulsa plan de recorte en Japdeva

Baja de tono a concesión y aboga por reducir en 50% el gasto en salarios; Busca pasar de 1.400 empleados a un máximo de 800.

In May 1010, as part of an ongoing campaign to destroy the dockworkers union, Costa Rican police broke into the SINTRAJAP dockworkers union office.

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Costa Rica’s most […]


Gobierno quiere imponer privatización de puertos, denuncia SINTRAJAP

[ENGLISH SUMMARY: The Costa Rican dockworkers union, SINTRAJAP, says that the government continues its push to privatize the ports in the Limón province at any cost, and without meeting with the union to hear its plan to modernize the ports with the good of the community in mind. Under the Oscar Arias and Laura Chinchilla […]


International labor union applauds court decision to restore longshore leaders

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Coast Longshore Division had condemned the Costa Rican government for disrupting democratic processes relating to leadership of Sintrajap.

The ILWU’s charges were made in regard to a process earlier this year whereby Sintrajap’s leadership was replaced by a vote of the union’s assembly. The union’s new leadership accepted […]


U.S. warship docks in Costa Rica’s Limón port

The USS Iwo Jima warship was in Costa Rica for 10 days in late August and early September.

Twenty people protesting the arrival of a warship in armyless Costa Rica made it clear that not everyone was cheering the US warship’s arrival in Limón. … Since then, peace activists and left-wing organizations have been […]


Apoyo legislativo a Sintrajap en Costa Rica

[English summary: Costa Rican union leaders join elected members of parliament to denounce the crooked way in which the government helped overthrow elected longshore union leaders in January in order to force privatization of the ports of Limón and Moín. Last week the rightfully elected leaders were reinstated by Costa Rica’s high court, […]


Rodrigo Arias, en silencio sobre freno a concesión de muelles

[English summary: Former Costa Rican president Oscar Arias’ brother, Rodrigo, who has placed ambitious political hopes on his role in the privatization of the ports of Limón and Moín, remains silent after Wednesday’s high court decision that restores the legitimate union leaders to their posts. A sham election, closely tied to the Arias brothers, was […]


Costa Rican Court Rejects Illegal Coup of Longshore Union

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 26, 2010 CONTACT: Jennifer Sargent, 503-703-2933

ILWU President calls high court’s order ‘an important step forward in the never-ending battle to protect workers’ rights

Ronaldo Blear, General Secretary of SINTRAJAP

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 26, 2010) — Costa Rican longshore workers are celebrating yesterday’s ruling in their country’s Constitutional Court […]


ILWU demanda al gobierno costarricense por violaciones sistemáticas de los derechos laborales

Los trabajadores portuarios de SINTRAJAP

“Los estadounidenses quieren creer que Costa Rica es un paraíso,” dijo Robert McEllrath, Presidente Internacional de ILWU. “Pero Costa Rica se está transformando en un país en el que la policía rompe ventanas y puertas en los locales donde los trabajadores realizan asambleas pacíficas, en el que el gobierno […]


ILWU Files CAFTA Complaint Against the Costa Rican Government

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 22, 2010 CONTACT: Jennifer Sargent, 503-703-2933

Costa Rica’s public employees and dockworkers unions join ILWU in complaint; American longshore workers and Costa Rican longshore workers share many of the same employers.

In May, 60 Costa Rican police officers broke down the doors of the SINTRAJAP union hall. The ILWU […]


An open letter to President Obama on Costa Rica's labor violations

The following letter is also available in pdf format and in Spanish. La carta siguiente se puede leer en español.

June 17, 2010

The Honorable Barack Obama President, United States of America The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

President Obama:

This letter is a follow up to my April 22, 2010 letter […]


In Costa Rica, port concession brings ‘more poverty, less hope’

After the Port of Caldera concession in 2006, working conditions deteriorated and longshore workers' wages dropped by two-thirds. This official photo from the port shows a lack of several safety precautions.

When Costa Ricans faced a private port concession at the Port of Caldera in 2006, they were promised prosperity and efficiency for […]


Comptroller: Inspection Failures at Costa Rica's Caldera Port

Costa Rica’s Comptroller’s Office has determined that the Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacífico (Incop) – Pacific ports institute – failed to carry out an adequate inspection of the Caldera port concessionaire, Sociedad Portuaria de Caldera (SPC).

By law, Incop must ensure that ongoing expansion and maintenance works at the facility, budgeted at us$4.34 million, […]


Costa Rica: Arias tries to bust port workers union

On Feb. 26 the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) charged that the government of Costa Rican president Oscar Arias Sánchez had in effect “illegally established a ‘yellow’ (unrepresentjeative, undemocratic, employer-run) trade union” for the 1,500 dockworkers at the Atlantic coast city of Limón. The government’s interference in the union—”in contravention of conventions 87 and 98″ […]


Acusados penalmente los hermanos Arias Sánchez

El pasado lunes 10 de mayo de 2010, fue presentada en la Fiscalía Adjunta del II Circuito Judicial de San José, una denuncia penal contra los hermanos Oscar y Rodrigo Arias Sánchez; contra el Exministro de Trabajo y Seguridad Social, Álvaro González Alfaro; así como en contra de los actuales jerarcas…

Efectivamente, los demandantes consideran […]