Public Employees Threaten To Strike Again on Monday

August 20, 2004

AFTER one on May 1, another May31, and a third July 29, union leadersapparently won’t let August slip by withouta labor strike.Public employees are threateninganother nationwide work stoppage onMonday, this time against Riteve, the firmin charge of mandatory annual vehicleinspections, and the government’s recentpublic salary increase, and the proposedfree-trade agreement with the UnitedStates.This strike could be different in thatunion leaders are threatening to extend itmore than one day, indefinitely.“If the President wants to suspend thework stoppage, he has to open Riteve. Itis a monopoly, and according to the legislationof our country, it is prohibited.Furthermore, we want to reopen the dialogueregarding the salary increase,”union leader Eddy González told the dailyLa Nación. González is with the CostaRican Automotive Association ofIntegrated Works (Aticos).Other groups that have pledged tosupport Monday’s strike include the TaxiDrivers Federation, the NationalAssociation of Public and PrivateEmployees (ANEP), port workers, theNational Union of Small and MediumProducers and the High School TeachersAssociation (APSE).Government officials closed negotiationson the salary increase for publicemployees earlier this month, finallydeciding upon a 4.5% increase. Unionleaders are still calling for an increase of6.26-10%, closer to the first semester rateof inflation of 6.26%.Organizers said the strike would beginwith a serenade outside President AbelPacheco’s house at 4 a.m. and continue infront of the Casa Presidencial at 11 a.m.

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