PDP legislators accuse Rosselló of tyranny
SAN JUAN — Popular Democratic Party (PDP) House Minority Leader Rafael “Tatito” Hernández and several members of his delegation denounced Thursday that fiscal and labor bills approved and implemented by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló will impoverish workers and grant the executive branch absolute power, usurping the Legislature.
During a press conference Thursday morning, Hernández and alternate minority Leader Ramón Luis Cruz Burgos said Rosselló’s bills are not being presented randomly, but rather are part of “an integrated plan to eliminate the government’s public workers.”
“With House Bill 675 on [debt] moratorium, the governor can emit debt, redirect funds, sell assets, and everything will be possible without legislation. The bill intends to delegate everything to a tyrant in transition and places the burden of the crisis on workers,” Hernández denounced.
The minority leader warned that, even though the bill is temporary, “during those six months the governor has enough time to reach agreements, and by August all employees [could] be transferred to other agencies, to public-private partnerships(P3s), or the private sector. After summer recess, we will have a new country by giving unilateral control to the governor to act without the Legislature’s advice or consent.”
For his part, Cruz Burgos explained that the governor’s bills will represent the constructive layoff of public workers by imposing new conditions that will make them leave their jobs.
“The bill pretends to delegate everything
to a tyrant in transition”
Cruz noted that Act 3 already freeze collective-bargaining agreements, while House Bill 454 for the single employer establishes that public employees will be part of the central government instead of agencies, and that allows the executive branch to transfer them to PPAs or the private sector.
These two bills join Act 1 for the P3s, which allow any company to send proposals to the government, while House Bill 6 for non-profits allows for government services to be provided by the third sector.
With the Labor Transformation & Flexibility Law, or labor reform, Rosselló eliminated and cut rights and benefits to employees from the private sector by extending the probationary period and reducing vacation days. Cruz said these are the decrees that will apply to public employees who are transferred to the private sector once the governor eliminates public agencies or private services.
“House Bill 675 for moratorium is the ultimate power that gathers all previously filed bills because it cedes the Legislative Assembly’s powers to the governor, unilaterally. My call to the Legislative Assembly is not to abandon the prerogatives that the people delegated legislators to represent them. The balance of powers is being erased with this moratorium act and this is a dictatorship. Our government system of representative democracy is withering. Here there will be a governor who will have nothing to counteract assaults against the people. They are transforming the governor into a tyrant, and the Legislative Assembly will cede power to the tyrant and that is very dangerous,” Hernández warned.