Unions insist on Puerto Rico governor’s resignation
Convene Friday march to La Fortaleza
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico’s labor and trade unions, along with civil society organizations, urged people to again show up Friday to demand the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló or that the Legislative Assembly remove him from power.
The demonstration is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Bahía Urbana in Old San Juan’s Pier 8, where a march to the governor’s La Fortaleza mansion will begin.
“In addition to requesting the resignation of the Governor, all of us who are here demand that a state of emergency be declared because of the sexist violence that Puerto Rico is living, that the PROMESA [Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act] law be repealed, that the bankruptcy process underway in federal court be paused during this crisis, and that the agreements with the bondholders who have negotiated with the [Financial Oversight and Management] Board be canceled until the debt is audited,” reads a statement issued by the president of the Irrigation & Electrical Workers Union (Utier by its Spanish acronym), Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo.
Among the other organizations that convened the demonstration are the Coordinadora Sindical, Asociación Puertorriqueña de Profesores Universitarios, Central Puertorriqueña de Trabajadores, Hermandad de Empleados Exentos No Docentes, Coordinadora Unitaria de Trabajadores, Unión General de Trabajadores, Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, Sindicato Puertorriqueño de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras, Oficina y el Sindicato Internacional de Empleados Profesionales de Puerto Rico (OPEIU), Federación Central de Trabajadores local 481 UFCW, and Federación de Trabajadores de Puerto Rico, AFL-CIO.
The union leaders also called for a National Cacerolazo so people who find it difficult to get to Old San Juan can demonstrate elsewhere.
“We know that the request for the resignation of the governor by the people resonates in every corner of the island and we also know that there are many people who cannot reach San Juan due to mobility, childcare, elderly, work, among others, so we also convened the National Cacerolazo at 8:00 p.m. so they can express their outrage and upload their videos to social networks from where they are using the #CacerolazoNacional to continue demonstrating that the people say, Ricky resign,” the president of the General Workers Union, Gerson Guzmán, added in the joint release.
For his part, Juan Cortés, president of the Central Federation of Workers, Local 481 UFCW, said: “As never before, all sectors of the country have agreed that Ricardo Rosselló has to leave La Fortaleza. With his attitude of dragging his feet about his irremediable departure, he further tears at the institution of the public service so necessary for the reconstruction of the country amid the great economic and social crisis we are going through.”
Jannel Santana, president of the Brotherhood of Exempt Non-Teaching Employees (Heend by its Spanish acronym), also urged joining the march, saying “this is a country struggle, of all Puerto Ricans and that transcends all the barriers. Today, more than ever, we all come together and say Enough of the abuse.”