The government has been presented with a proposal for comprehensive reform of the state which includes issues such as flexible working hours and the opening of the electricity and hydrocarbons markets.
The Supreme Court has ruled to leave in place the veto of the Law known as the Labor Procedure Reform, which allowed strikes to be called on essential services such as ports, hospitals and public transportation.
From a statement issued by the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations in the Private Business Sector (UCCAEP):
- Business Sector considers it to be a benefit to all Costa Ricans
Unions reject a proposal by industrialists to work 4 days and rest 3 days, whle the government describes it as a "sensitive" issue.
The Minister of Labour, Victor Morales, told Crhoy.com that "....These proposals concerning working hours require legislative amendment, they need a reform of the Labour Code to be approved in the Legislature ... I proposed to the Chamber of Industries ... that these issues must be subject to tripartite dialogue (between employers, workers and government). "
Industrialists are asking for inclusion in the Labour Code a 12 hour work day, and in cases in where the law permits, annualized hours.
From a statement issued by the Chamber of Industries (ICRC):
July 2014. In the view of the ICRC establishing additional rules for working time in Costa Rican legislation represents an excellent option for generating higher quality employment opportunities, while at the same time allowing firms to improve their production levels.
The business sector in Costa Rica has withdrawn its support for the draft reform of the Labor Code, stating that it does not promote social peace in the country.
The employers, represented by the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Enterprises (Uccaep), explained that the text of the bill contains "the elimination of all regulation of strikes in essential services such as security, health and energy. Also, the project does not include laws and penalties for illegal strikes which practically go unpunished under the law", reported Prensalibre.cr.
Eleven business chambers are insisting that the reforms to the Labor Code incite illegal strikes.
Nacion.com reports: "The amendments were approved unanimously by the Legal Affairs Committee of Congress, on August 1st, and have already been presented to the plenary."
"The chambers are opposed to the reforms regarding strikes, unions and syndicated workers, which are strengthened at the expense of standing committees (promoted by solidarism), something that encourages protests".
Brands like Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters, Gap, Liz Claiborne, Nike, Phillips-Van Heusen and Vanity Fair asked the Government of Guatemala to review labor laws.
A group of U.S. retailers and brands such as Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters, Gap, Liz Claiborne, Nike, Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) and Vanity Fair (VF) said they want to see a "timely resolution" to the labor demands presented in 2008 against Guatemala under the framework of DR-CAFTA.
Guatemala is preparing a plan to inspect factories in order to avoid a possible arbitration, forced by the US, for non-compliance of labor standards under CAFTA.
The Labour Ministry is preparing a program to inspect working conditions in the textile factories which could take six months to complete. The plan must conform to the standards set by enterprises under the 29-89 scheme (Law on Promotion of Export Activity and Maquilas).
In consideration to an announcement made by the U.S. regarding the possibility of a labor lawsuit against the country, the Government is currently discussing reforms to the labor code.
The reforms to the Code and to the Law on Promotion of Export Activity and Textiles, seeks to empower the Ministry of Work to be able to impose sanctions and require companies to make a deposit in order to cover severance and other social benefits.
Arguing lack of regulations, the Labor Ministry of Costa Rica has rejected requests for reducing the working day.
While Congress studied a Labor Flexibility Law project, the ministry rejected 20 requests by companies from different sectors, who solicited authorization for reducing wages and working time of their employees.
Although it was not planned in the agenda of the new administration, outside pressures have focused attention on labor reform.
The evidence that the process of this reform has started are the four decrees on labor regulations that were issued by the departing administration.
The loan conditions from the World Bank, demands from the United States, and compliance of the commitments adopted with the International Labour Organization are listed as the reasons that that it is critical to adopt necessary adjustments to labor regulations.
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