Vol.19  No.0117 Thursday Edition, January 17, 2019 Third news page
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Union leader protested against a new
bill to control public services during strikes

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

A proposed law that would allow to the government to take all necessary actions to ensure the continuity of any public service considered essential in the event of a strike came under fire Wednesday at the legislature.

Ramon Barrantes, representing the union of workers in the bananas farms, told lawmakers that the proposal restricts the right to protest or to strike. The measure covers essential activities such as health, education and public services.

Barrantes presented himself before the Social Affairs Commission to give his opinion on the bill, the Declaration of Essential Public Services. This law is under analysis by the deputies where it will be determined which are the basic public services that can not be suspended due to a strike.

According to Barrantes, "the right to protest is an essential right and therefore we will defend it and we disagree with this bill."

The union leader also said the deputies are trying to restrict the unions because of the general strike that took place last year.

"There is an intention to affect the trade union movement and, obviously, we are going to denounce it, so for us, this is clear. This arises from the movement that the Costa Rican workers did," said Barrantes, referring to the lengthy strike.

According to the union leader the Labor Code allows strikes, so the new bill to limit strikes would be illegal.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services

According to the union leader the Labor Code allows strikes, so the new bill to limit strikes would be illegal.

"According to our point of view and according to international conventions and our own legislation, this new bill of law has no legal basis . We request to you to effectively review this new bill of law, since it leaves some of the workers in a total state of defenselessness "said Barrantes to lawmakers on the committee.

“For us the right to strike in different sectors means the right to democracy. It means putting the equity process on the table," said Barrantes.

The bill is No. 21.097, which establishes that any public institution that provides an essential public service cannot be closed without first guaranteeing the provision of same service in equal or better conditions elsewhere.

Do you support the bill to prevent the affectation on public services during strikes? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to: news@amcostarica.com








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