Legislators Consider Expanding Rights of Unions

June 19, 2009

Steeped in an economic recession and watching the employment rate climb higher, Costa Rica s legislators find themselves in the midst of a debate that could dramatically change labor practices here.

The reform, brought to the Legislative Assembly by the Citizen Action Party (PAC), would extend the reach of workers unions and make it more difficult to fire employees.

Manuel Rodríguez, president of the  Union of Private-Sector Chambers and Associations (UCCAEP), expressed interestin further protecting labor organizations, but said he is concerned about a clause in the new legislation that would make it more difficult to eliminate positions.

It ties the hands of businesses, he said, during a telephone interview on Thursday. When you are in a crisis, like the one we are in now, and you want to decrease the number of employees, you can t.

Costa Rica has long had an embedded culture of solidarismo, in which internal associations of workers negotiate directly  with their employers and take part in the management of the businesses.

Across the private sector, these workers associations have stood in the place of workers unions for more than 40 years and, according to a study by the International Trade Union Confederation, they historically have outnumbered trade unions by four to one.

But in 2006, the International Labor Organization (ILO) added Costa Rica to its list of countries with alleged labor violations, saying the Central American country fails to protect the free exercise of trade union rights.

Albino Vargas Barrantes, secretary general of the National Association of Public and Private Employees, hopes to change that with the reforms to the labor code currently before the legislature.

In a press release, he wrote, Fortunately for Costa Rican democracy, the majority of the legislature appears ready to help clean the large stain that the country has in its file, following its repeated disgrace in terms of repeatedly failing to comply with ILO (mandates)on Freedom of Association.

Chrissie Long

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Costa Rica meets with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to discuss Nicaragua, Venezuela, indigenous rights
Costa Rica
1 views
Costa Rica
1 views

Costa Rica meets with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to discuss Nicaragua, Venezuela, indigenous rights

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 23, 2019

Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Manuel Ventura Robles, met with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) this week…

Freed Nicaraguan prisoner tells of torture
Central America
37 views
Central America
37 views

Freed Nicaraguan prisoner tells of torture

AFP - April 23, 2019

One Nicaraguan guard pinned his hand to a table with his knee while another ripped out a nail with a…

Costa Rica celebrates 150 years of free education
Costa Rica
10 views
Costa Rica
10 views

Costa Rica celebrates 150 years of free education

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 22, 2019

Costa Rica on Monday celebrated 150 years of free, obligatory and state-paid education with a ceremony at the Escuela Jesús…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!