Once port reform is implemented, port labor and management must continue to cooperate if reform is to achieve its objectives. The proposed changes in labor regimes, collective agreements, and work practices to improve productivity and curtail cost will stand a better chance of success if they are reached with the agreement of all stakeholders. For mutual gains, labor and management have to concentrate on building stronger relationships through better communication and more cooperation. In that respect, it appears appropriate to foster the establishment of joint committees between port workers and terminal operators to resolve operational problems and disputes without having to resort to official intervention.
Participation of port workers in workplace decisions has an enormous potential to motivate workers and to enhance customers’ satisfaction. The combination of better communication and working toward agreed objectives can set the stage for improved labor management relations in ports that are undertaking reform. Successful labor reform can only be achieved when the commercial goals (efficiency and growth) of the employers are balanced with the social goals (equity and fairness) of their employees.