The Costa Rican Union and Social Unitary Bloc (Bussco) is calling for supporters to gather outside of the Legislative Assembly building in the capital San José on Thursday, January 16, to oppose a proposed bill to regulate labor strikes. According to a social media post from the group, the rally will start at 09:00 (local time). Lawmakers are scheduled to debate the bill during Thursday's session, which was approved during a first debate on Tuesday, January 14. Union leaders argue that the legislation will eliminate one of the key citizen rights and freedoms in the country and is anti-democratic. Further demonstrations may be organized if the bill continues to move through the Legislative Assembly.
A heightened security presence and local traffic disruptions are anticipated around the protest site. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out.
The proposed bill will prohibit workers in essential public services, such as health, safety, schools, and water and energy supply, from holding strikes. It also allows employers to suspend the salaries of striking workers and includes penalties for individuals who block roads during work stoppages. The bill was introduced in 2018 after public sector workers held a prolonged strike to protest government fiscal reforms.
Individuals in San José are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.