August 14, 2022

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A broad front against an extended working day project in Costa Rica

“It is our intention to listen to the arguments, to present our arguments, and not to abandon that through dialogue we can think about this issue,” said Sophia Guillen, Vice-President of the Federation Board of Directors in the Legislative Assembly, after consulting us at the dialogue tables organized by the Executive Director on this legal bill. .

The initiative seeks to legitimize in Costa Rica 4×3 working days (12-hour workdays for four consecutive days and three days off), on which the executive summoned various political, union and social actors on Tuesday to find out their positions.

At that meeting, the Amplio Front Council – along with Guillén, the chair of the FA legislative group, Jonathan Aconia – made an explicit request that women’s groups be included in the discussion, as they are most affected by the long working hours.

The Front indicated that there were still no agreements after the first meeting, and called for a high-level discussion, with arguments and studies supporting each position, with the expectation that it would present data and studies on the effects of 12-hour shifts on physical health, mental and family dynamics.

Acuña stressed that all this discussion should take place with a clear focus on respecting workers and looking at global trends, because what other countries are discussing is reducing working hours.

In this regard, the Costa Rican Union and Social Unionist Bloc (Posco), confirmed, on Wednesday, that the attempt to eliminate the daily working hours in Costa Rica, which is eight hours, constitutes a setback for 100 years and a form of slavery.

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“The eight-hour workday, and its motto: eight hours to work, eight hours to entertain, eight hours to sleep, costs prison, blood, and even workers’ lives, and eliminating them is a political affront to the working class,” Bosco said.

He considered this project to be a criminal policy, a pillaging of workers’ rights, an extensive use of manpower, and a logic that seeks to reduce production costs by sacrificing income, occupational health, and the welfare of workers and their families.

Likewise, he said, it frustrates opportunities for improvement and social mobility for those who work towards being able to study, condemning people to stagnation and not improving their economic and social conditions.

He added that this causes a high unemployment rate because instead of hiring three workers they use two to cover 24 hours, and stressed that the legal initiative is unconstitutional because it dismantles the rule of law.

je / ale