Costa Rica's Union Strike: 2018 - SRS-CR: Summerland Relocation Services

September 27, 2018 No Comments

Costa Rica’s Union Strike: 2018

Posted by Constance Monroe in Informational

How has the strike affected you? Summerland Relocation Services (SRS) has received various information and we have heard a number of stories throughout the Southern Zone regarding the Union strikes which began on September 10th, 2018. This article was written as an informative piece and to encourage others to share what they might know.

The strike began as a result of a tax reform law which is being debated in the Legislative Assembly. The law is supposed to be designed for the “strengthening of public finances” but is largely seen as putting the burden on the working class while the countries’ larger companies realize benefit from it. There are quite a number of issues involved but one of the biggest concerns is that the government wants to replace Costa Rica’s sales tax with a value added tax (VAT). Specifically, this law would allow the government to collect taxes on the largest growing industry: services. Sales tax would pretty much remain the same.

The strikes began with Unions all across the country, including the High School Teacher’s Association. All Public Unions as well as some private have joined the strike. Students, teachers, medical personnel, telecommunications employees, municipal employees and transportation workers have all taken to the streets. Citizens have been invited and many are participating.

Several routes within the San Isidro area have been affected. The bridge on the Inter-Americana going towards Panama is a location used very frequently for an area of striking. Usually just past the McDonald’s going south there are road blockages although not every day. The same is true for the area of the intersection of Gasoy Tica and Cemetary road. The LaPalma bridge, Santa Rosa and the San Isidro airport have all been affected as well. If you see road blockages you would be well advised to plot out a different route.

Most of what people have heard and witnessed revolve around marches beginning between 7:00 and 8:00 in the morning and generally speaking they are finished by the time it gets dark at 6:00 pm. Waiting in traffic seems to be the largest complaint. This traffic can turn a 15-minute drive into one which might cost you 2 hours. The most unfortunate result is that many small businesses have closed during this time because of a lack of customers. Many others who are still open are reporting an impact to their business as well.

The latest according to the Tico Times is that while the number of people participating in the strikes have decreased, talks have come to a stand-still. The government has asked that the Unions end the strikes while negotiations are in progress. The Unions have responded with an emphatic “no” along with rejecting any solutions that have been put forth so far. For more detailed information go to the Tico Times or to the Costa Rican Star.

Do you have a story about the strike that you think is worth sharing? Email us and we will post it to our website page or message us on Facebook and we’ll be happy to pass along your compelling information.

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