Unions Organize Mass Protest Against Labor Reform
SAN JUAN – Several unions representing Puerto Rico’s public sector are organizing a massive protest for Feb. 9, as stated in a bulletin spread through social media.
The bulletin specified it is a “general strike” to oppose the “new labor laws, public and private,” because they “endanger” workers’ wages and rights, job stability, health care and overtime payment.
One of the participating organizations is the Authentic Independent Union (UIA by its Spanish acronym) of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority (Prasa), which spread the bulletin on Twitter. The post also tagged the Irrigation & Electrical Workers Union (Utier by its Spanish acronym), the General Workers Union and the Teachers Association, among others.
UIA President Pedro Irene Maymí said more information will be offered in a press conference Monday, at 11 a.m. in front of the Labor & Human Resources Department.
“We are completing details. Yes, there will be a mass demonstration. We will provide details next Monday,” Irene Maymí told Caribbean Business.
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló signed last week the Labor Transformation & Flexibility Act, better known as labor reform, which, among other things, reduces vacation days and Christmas bonuses for employees in the public sector.
The Senate is expected Thursday to make way for House Bill 454, which transforms the government into a “single employer” and allows for employee mobility between agencies. The bill has been opposed by unions that believe it will represent a negative impact on public workers because it also reduces sick leave prospectively, increases the probationary period for new employees, and allows for mobility, which they allege could result in constructive layoffs.