Unions of the education and health sectors, mainly university students and social groups marched through downtown San Jose in a peaceful way to protest a wide range of issues ranging from corruption to wages.
Costa Rican Minister of the Presidency, Carlos Benavides, said at a press conference that the list of demands of the protesters, the principal is a bill to reform labor procedures, which seeks to legalize strikes in essential services.
“The chapter that corresponds to the public sector strikes is unacceptable and we continue to believe that,” Benavides said recalling that the law was vetoed by the president, Laura Chinchilla, last year.
According to Benavides, the Government cannot allow strikes in health services, water, electricity, fuel distribution, as well as police and ports.
“The Constitution and the law currently are prohibited, what we did was put it in clearer terms,” said the minister.
Meanwhile, the Social Security Fund reported effects on the services of four hospitals and the Ministry of Education reported a “high absence” of teachers to classrooms across the country.
Protesters ended activity against the Legislature, where they arrived with union flags and banners with slogans like “Stop corruption”, “Costa Rica is not for sale” and “For a general wage increase.”
Among the list of complaints made during the protest highlights a rejection of public works concessions to private companies, corruption, the “looting” of the country, discrimination and require approval of the reform labor procedures a “end to impunity” and a better quality of life.
The Security Ministry confirmed that there were no violent acts and that the demonstration passed peacefully, although there was some road closures affecting vehicular traffic on the main roads of San José and some other parts of the country.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica