Costa Rican government warned over trade union abuses.
Global union federation the ITF today called on its 751 member unions worldwide ? including 214 dockworkers" unions ? to protest at mistreatment of trade unionists in Costa Rica. The call comes in support of the ITF affiliated SINTRAJAP union, which has for 10 years successfully resisted the privatisation of the Port of Limon, and has presented an economic plan for its continued successful running as a nationally owned entity. Now the Costa Rican government, in an apparent desperate attempt to sell off the port ahead of a coming election, has resorted to dirty tricks to try and break the union.
ITF Dockers" Section Secretary Frank Leys commented: ?We are calling on our affiliate unions and the international trade union movement to protest at the Costa Rican government"s undemocratic and potentially illegal plans to break the will of the SINTRAJAP union.?
?We have today asked them to send messages of protest to the Costa Rican government and to be ready to continue to support the autonomy of that country"s legitimate trade unions.?
ITF Americas Regional Secretary Antonio Fritz explained the background to the case: ?Puerto Limon is administered by JAPDEVA, a state-owned agency created to operate the port and to use the money it raises to promote development in Limon, one of Costa Rica"s poorest provinces. Now the government has become increasingly desperate to undermine the union and privatise the port. That apparent determination is reflected in increasingly unconstitutional behaviour by JAPVEDA, which unilaterally called a "workers" assembly" last month. When its proposals were massively rejected it called a second meeting attended by only 20 per cent of the workforce, at which it tried to impose a new, pro-government board and also tried to establish an undemocratic, employer-run trade union. But the workers" determination to defend their jobs has so far defeated those attempts.?