Strikes: Legal Guarantee in Costa Rica

After the approval in second legislative debate of the law authorizing employers to suspend, from the first day of demonstration, the payment of wages to public servants who go on strike, the file will go to the President, Carlos Alvarado.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Plenary Session of the Legislative Assembly approved, with 35 deputies in favor and 13 against, in its second and final debate, Bill 21,049, which will regulate strikes by establishing new rules so that workers can exercise this right, the Legislative Assembly reported.

You may be interested in "Strikes in Costa Rica: Progress on the Bill"

From the Legislative Assembly's statement:

January 16th, 2020. The new legislation regulates the essential services where strikes will be prohibited, which are those related to the life, health and safety of people, such as hospitalization, home care, outpatient care, medical examinations, laboratory tests, pharmacy, laundry, surgeries and emergencies. In addition, it includes public police, air and immigration controllers, rail transport, sea transport, loading and unloading at docks, medicines, medical equipment, energy sources, transport services.

Likewise, services of transcendental importance are regulated where strikes are allowed, but under minimum service conditions, which must be agreed upon by the parties, if there is no agreement, a labor judge must resolve it within three days with a hearing for the opposing party. The maximum period for a strike in services of transcendental importance is ten calendar days and then the workers must return to work.

These include waste collection, loading and unloading at docks and moorings, restrictions on leaving the country, national elections, plebiscites, banking services, administration of justice, customs and passenger services at ports, airports and borders.

The education sector forms part of these services and it is established that during the strike the necessary staff must be maintained for the provision of cleaning and security work so that each educational institution remains open and those who wish not to strike may remain in the institution. There must be an agreement between the parties to guarantee this minimum service, otherwise it is defined by the Labor Court within three days after a hearing. And the strike may not exceed 21 consecutive calendar days or 10 discontinuous calendar days.



More on this topic

Strikes in Costa Rica: Progress on the Bill

January 2020

After listening to the observations made by Chamber IV, the deputies approved in first debate the law authorizing employers to suspend, from the first day of demonstration, the payment of wages to civil servants who go on strike.

On September 3, 2019, the bill had already been approved in first debate, however, at the time of submitting it to the consultation of Chamber IV, two defects of unconstitutionality were found, which were corrected.

The Paradox of Labor Unions

October 2019

Arguing to defend "the interests of the workers", labor union groups in Guatemala filed an appeal against the recently approved agreement regulating part-time employment in the country, and in response, the Constitutional Court decided to temporarily suspend it.

After several years of discussion, on June 27, 2019 Governmental Agreement 89-2019 was published in the Official Newspaper.

Ending the Abuse of Power

September 2019

In Costa Rica, the Congress approved in first debate a bill that authorizes employers to suspend, from the first day of demonstration, the payment of wages to public sector workers who are on strike.

The Legislative Assembly voted in the first debate on file 21049, a law to provide legal security about the strike and its procedures, which seeks to eliminate the exaggerated privileges that employees of state entities have when they decree and execute a strike in the public sector, the Legislative Assembly informed on Tuesday, September 3.

Who's in Charge in Costa Rica?

August 2019

The power of public employees' guilds in the country was evidenced by the agreement that authorities of the Social Security Fund agreed to sign in order that employees of the entity may continue to enjoy privileges to the detriment of others.

EDITORIAL

Arguing that "judicializing" the strike was the only and best way out that could be achieved in the short term, the highest authorities of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) complied with the pressures of trade guild members, who with the desire to maintain the differential treatment they have enjoyed for many years, suspended access to basic health services, even carrying out actions as despicable as closing a blood bank and paralyzing equipment for cancer treatment.

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