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  HOME | Central America

Costa Rican Unions Say General Strike Making an Impact

SAN JOSE – Costa Rican unions said on Tuesday on the second day of a national strike against a proposed expansion in consumption taxes that they are satisfied with the results so far.

“The cuts are encouraging, as they reflect that the regionalized national strike has served its purpose on this second day,” the head of ANEP labor federation, Albino Vargas, told EFE.

These past two days have served as “preparation and warm up” for a “large march” planned for Wednesday in San Jose, he said.

Groups of state workers on Monday kicked off an indefinite strike in rejection of a tax reform currently being debated in Congress.

Tuesday saw manifestations and temporary blockades in several thoroughfares throughout the country, and the strike has affected the education and health sectors.

Los unions are rejecting a proposed tax reform, which is aimed at reducing the budget deficit, as they believe it will mostly affect the lower and middle classes, especially public employees.

The centerpiece of the legislation is the replacement of the current 13 percent sales tax with a value added tax at the same rate, but applied to a broader range of goods and services.

“We believe that the tax combo fosters inequality and the concentration of wealth,” Vargas said, adding that he thinks that it does not deter tax evasion, while it does tax employees to settle a public debt that the people did not generate.

 

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