The long-running public sector strike got a boost on Monday with the Labor Court decision declaring legal the movement by the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (Recope).

The Tribunal de Apelación de Trabajo del II Circuito Judicial de San José said the judge who qualified the strike in the first instance on September 28 made errors.

The Tribunal pointed out evidence in the first judgment was not properly assessed, that judge Alexánder Contreras Barrantes, essentially based his decision to opt for a non-peaceful movement for his observations in a reconnaissance visit to the El Alto campus (Ochomogo, Cartago) where he stated that about 60 tankers and about 40 people prevented the entry of vehicles to load fuels that day.

The Court of Appeals affirmed that the judge should have been much more precise in the confirmation of the impact (of the strike) and other evidentiary facts to consider the movement as non-peaceful.

The Court of Appeal panel was composed of Judges Adriana Chacón Catalán, Bettzabé Gutiérez Murillo and Luis Eduardo Mesén García.

“The judicial inspection is an important probative element, but the most important because of the immediacy. The judge had to be more precise, indicate in the minutes the details of the observed without the need to record what third parties may indicate,” dictates the resolution dated November 2.

Thirty-two court filings, between pubic ministries and state institutions, were filed with the courts.

While most have been resolved in first judgment, 23 of the resolutions are still in the appeal process.

One of them is the teachers’ movement,  The teacher’s union have asked their membership, teachers and public education support staff, to maintain on strike while it appeals, affecting thousands of students due to school closings.

The prolonged strike means many students will have lost their year, with the ministry of Education trying to find a solution before the end o the school year next month.

Today is day 58 of the strike that began on Monday, September 10.


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