Users of the commuter train in the greater metropolitan area of San Jose found the doors closed a the Estacion al Pacifico and other stations. Machinists want better working conditions and a wage increase. Photo Alonso Tenorio, La Nacion
Users of the commuter train in the greater metropolitan area of San Jose this morning found the doors closed a the Estacion al Pacifico and other stations. Machinists want better working conditions and a wage increase. Photo Alonso Tenorio, La Nacion

Hundreds found out the hard way this morning that the trains weren’t running, arriving at the train station only to find it closed, the railway having to suspend service due to a walk out by the 15 conductors and their assistants.

Cristian Vargas, the newly appointed president of Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) explained that the crew are protesting against Catenaria S.A, the private company that contracts the service of machinists in the Caribbean and assume the service of the metropolitan area, starting today (Tuesday).

Commuter trains from Cartago to Alajuela were idle this morning
Commuter trains from Cartago to Alajuela were idle this morning

The machinists made it clear this morning that “they are not on strike”, it’s that they have no contract with their employer (Catenaria) and are making demands before doing so.

“The Incofer has a signed contract, but workers and machinists do not, they are making conditions to sign, but that is a matter between these workers and the company,” Vargas said.

Some of the conditions the workers want is a wage increase, better working conditions that include travel expenses, uniforms and rest areas.

Víctor Manuel Mena Ramírez, representative of the machinists, said Catenaria negotiated working conditions with the Incofer, but not with them.

Mena added that the company was warned that there would be a suspension of service on Tuesday, if the contract terms are not improved.

Machinists are expected to meet this morning at 10:00am with Vargas and Arturo Salazar, president of Catenaria.

After the meeting a press conference is expected.

Train service may be resumed by the afternoon.

Source: La Nacion, Telenoticias


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