The Costa Rican Congress approved Thursday a bill that regulates the right to strike, while hundreds of public workers protested in front of the Legislative Assembly headquarters.
The bill will be signed into law “soon,” according to President Carlos Alvarado, and it will take effect once it’s published in government newspaper La Gaceta.
“We thank the deputies for the progress of this initiative, which will bring greater legal certainty to all sectors,” President Alvarado wrote.
La Asamblea Legislativa ha aprobado en segundo debate el proyecto que regula las huelgas en Costa Rica. Agradecemos a las y los diputados el avance de esta iniciativa, la cual traerá mayor certeza jurídica a todos los sectores. Pronto será firmada para transformarse en ley.
— Carlos Alvarado Quesada (@CarlosAlvQ) January 16, 2020
The initiative prohibits strikes in essential public services such as health, safety, school lunchrooms, and water and energy supply. It also puts limits on work stoppages in education.
It will allow for the suspension of the salary of striking workers and imposes penalties for those who block roads as part of a work stoppage.
The law project was promoted shortly after Costa Rica was paralyzed by a prolonged public sector strike in 2018 against a government-led fiscal reform.