The Labor Court of the First Judicial Circuit of San José ruled that the strike carried out by the workers of the Consejo Nacional de Producción (CNP) –  National Production Council –  is illegal, because the strike is a mechanism to resolve conflicts of a labor nature, but not aspects of order political.

The strike continues into day 15 today.

This is the first resolution of illegality of the 32 public institutions – 40 filings – that have filed similar actions with the Labor Court for the strike that began on September 10.

In the CNP case, the Court pointed that it is not possible to strike against public policies (such as a bill), but only within the labor relations between workers and management.

Resolution number18-002087-0173-LA-8 on page two says, “The strike that concerns us is illegal, because the alleged fact does not allow the protest. It is a movement at the national level, which reproaches a draft legislation, and this is not included in the employer-employee relationship. It is impossible for the CNP to, like its workers, even if they agree, since the institution cannot force the Executive, or the Assembly, to legislate in one way or another, or to propose laws of different types. A strike is designed to solve problems between employers and workers, and this is not the case. It is a matter of national character that involves many actors, trade unionists cannot take advantage of the disagreement (to the bill) to protest against their employer. They want to march, the do it. They want to protest, do so. But this situation, in fact, is not a strike, from the point of view of labor law, and therefore is illegal, and cannot be carried out during working hours.”

See here the text of the resoltion (in Spanish).

From this resolution, the Government reiterates the obligation to enforce legal order, and in this case, the Labor Code and its recent Labor Procedural Reform, which define the requirements of form and substance that must be respected, if It is sought that a strike is legal.

The executive president of the CNP, said he was satisfied with the ruling made by the Labor Court.

“We are pleased with the ruling because it is conclusive regarding the illegitimate exercise of the right to strike and, we are waiting for it to be firm to apply the disciplinary measures,” said Rogis Bermúdez.

The CNP has a total of 518 employees, 78 of whom attended the strike for September 12, which represented 15.1% of the total payroll.

In accordance with the provisions of the law, Article 385 of the Labor Code, once the strike is declared illegal, “the workers who joined the strike movement have 24 hours (from being notified) to return to their jobs, otherwise face possible dismissal without employer responsibility (severance pay)”.

Enforcement. Though CNP workers who joined the strike now illegally face dismissal if they do not returnt work, it remains to be seen if those workers will have their pay docked for their days not at their job.

The Labor Court resolution did not provide sanctions for the workers who missed work to join the movement against the government’s proposed Plan Fiscal or Tax Reform.

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