“The exceptional days is much more than a law reform; it is one more step towards the modernization of our labor legislation, which strengthens the Costa Rican economic development model based on attracting investment and promoting foreign trade”, said Carlos Montenegro, Executive Director of the Chamber of Industries.
In the upcoming weeks, the deputies will be approving a project that would modify the historic working day to enable working hours of 12 hours, 4 days a week, in exchange for 3 days off. The measure aims to improve the business climate in Costa Rica for companies that have a 24/7 production cycle, so in principle, it will not affect 9 out of 10 workers, according to Pilar Cisneros, head of the Progreso Social Party faction.
The labor change is focused on companies in free zones and will not include state workers either. However, once the legal gate is open, it would be possible for all companies to modify the work hours of their collaborators.
Optional for the worker
In principle, it would be an optional measure, in which the worker can test for 3 months if he likes the new schedule and if it is not convenient, he can return to his old 8-hour schedule. However, opponents of the initiative warn that in practice there will be no option. “It will not be optional in any way. Simply the one who does not accommodate to the job can lose the job. It is a lie to say that it is flexible and optional”, said Priscilla Vindas, a representative from theFrenteAmplio(Broad Front).
Meanwhile, Albino Vargas, secretary of the ANEP, asserted that the labor change will have a strong impact on women, especially for those who are single mothers, while life will also be complicated for young students who work and they study. “This project eliminates the payment of overtime, increases worker exploitation and we are sure that it is aimed at big businessmen who are friends of political power. We are going to take this project to Room IV”, said Vargas.
The bill will be discussed under the abbreviated procedure mechanism, or also known as fast track, so that in this way it will be possible to end the blockade that the Broad Front has promoted in Congress. And it is that the hundreds of motions that the opposition bench has presented will not be discussed, but will only be voted on, thus achieving faster progress.
“The fast-track approval of this bill by a large majority (47 votes in favor and 8 against) ratifies the priority that is being given to this bill due to its importance for the country’s competitiveness, as well as for the generation of new jobs for Costa Ricans. The exceptional working days is much more than a law reform, it is one more step towards the modernization of our labor legislation, which strengthens the Costa Rican economic development model based on attracting investment and promoting foreign trade”, asserted Carlos Montenegro, Executive Director of the Chamber of Industries.