Costa Rica: Public Employment Law Opposed by Labor Unions

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Foto: Olman Chinchilla, titular de la FENOTRAP-CMTC de Costa Rica

Source: Prensa Clate – Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / January 13, 2017.-     

The four main Costa Rican Labor Unions resolved unanimously to reject the Public Employment Law project presented by deputy of the National Liberation Party, Sandra Piszk, for considering that it “steps on fundamentals workers rights”. The same Unions are arranging a general strike for the month of February.

The Public and Private Workers National Federation´s (FENOTRAP-CMTC) general secretary, Olman Chinchilla, explained that de Law is an “ nefarious project against the working class, because it comes erode all employment and puts at great risk collective bargaining and sindical freedom”.

The leader also remarked that the decision to apply the Law it’s part of an agreement between the Government, Political Parties and the most important economic sectors in order to approve the tax reforms that preoccupy the Executive power. “This project also steps over another workers privilege: The Labour Process Reform, that will accelerate all the legal procedures, and that it is of great importance for the working class”, said the leader of the Public and Private Workers National Federation.

The despised project, as referred by sindical representatives of Costa Rica, was presented the past January 9 within the framework of extraordinary sessions in National Congress of the country and it would take into account the salarial extras that public workers collect.

Chinchilla recognized that ”the whole Costa Rican sindical movement unified its efforts. There has already been 2 joint press conferences and we are planning the possibility of calling a general strike of all the workers for the first or second week of February”.

Finally, he told that this call will not only be referred to Public Employment Law, but also it will nucleate the claim for the changes in the pension system. “They want to raise to 70 years the retirement age; they want us to pay a higher fee; and, they also want to diminish to 40% of the salary of the pension amount. With the excuse that the system is collapsing they throw us this reforms that only harms the workers. But we are gonna report that this is a lie and ask for a full and deep change in the whole retirement system”, summed up Chinchilla.

If the pressure executed by the syndicates so that the government falls back on its new policies of public employment and State downsizing, the country could be facing paralyzation in major services areas and the delay in the beginning of classes by the firsts weeks of February.

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