San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Public employees announce first protest of the year

Public sector union leaders are not satisfied with the 1.84 percent wage increase set by a government decree on Tuesday night, and they will meet Wednesday to define a date to protest.

In late 2012, various union leaders had anticipated that “2013 will be a year of several streets demonstrations,” and the amount of the salary increase provided the reason for the first public workers strike.

Walter Quesada, a leader of the National Association of Public and Private Employees (ANEP), said the union conducted a survey to measure the possible support for a public protest and found “general discontent among workers.” Union leaders decided to organize the first strike possibly in early February.

According to the independent “State of the Nation 2012” report, President Laura Chinchilla’s administration has faced an average of one daily protest.

In 2010, 340 demonstrations took place, and in 2011, that number reached 632, an average of 53 per month.

That figure is the highest in the past 17 years, according to the report.

Contact L. Arias at

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