Local June 13, 2017 | 11:20 am

Dominican Republic’s ‘owners’ bring ports to a halt

Customs Office at Haina Port. File.

Santo Domingo.-  Dominican Port Authority director Víctor Gómez warned Tuesday that the blockade of the country’s ports by the truckers union Fenatrado won’t be allowed.

Fenatrado’s trucks blocked traffic in and out of several ports including Haitna in Santo Domingo and Caucedo and Andres in Boca Chica since early Monday in response to a dispute with an engineering company.

Gomez said the blockage of access roads to the ports violates the Constitution and free transit laws. “We regret the incident that caused injuries to Fenatrado drivers, but that is no excuse nor does it entitle them to try to block entry to our ports.”

The official said he spoke personally with Fenatrado members at Haina Port and that they agreed to remove the trucks from the access roads.

In a statement released late Monday, the Port Authority said that all the access routes to the country’s ports were cleared and operations returned to normal.

Shippers lose competitiveness

Dominican Shippers Association (ANRD) president Teddy Heinsen warned that the blockade of ports undermines the free market and seriously harms their logistics chain. “It jeopardizes Dominican Republic’s competitiveness and makes the goal of our country brand difficult to achieve.”

Fenatrado’s often violent strikes go unpunished, and is one of the transport unions known as the country’s “owners.”

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