Photo Steven Oviedo, La Nacion
Photo Steven Oviedo, La Nacion

QCOSTARICA – Thursday’s protest by public sector workers, joined in by former porteadores (informal taxis that lost their concession) was pretty calm throughout the country, with no major impact on the roads, schools and medical centres.

While the major concentration of protests was on the streets on downtown San Jose, union workers gathering at the Parque Cental and walking to the Legislative Assembly building a few blocks away, several small groups closed the autopista General Cañas for a few minutes in the area of the monumento del agua, in La Uruca.

In Limon, union workers of the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Japdeva (Sintrajap) – dock workers – joined in the protest to demand the more investment by the government in the modernization of the Limon and Moin ports. The workers also protested against the concession given to the Dutch company, APM terminal, to develop and operate a container terminal in Limon.

Back in San Jose, a number of schools reported a shortage of teacher staff, one or more schools were closed, like the Liceo de San José, in Barrio México, for lack of teachers.

At state hospitals, surgeries were cancelled and a number of staff joined in the day of protest. However, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) reported minimal interruption of regular patient services.

Ileana Balmaceda, director of the Hospital San Juan de Dios, confirmed 14 elective surgeries cancelled and 21 staff members absent. The director said the major impact was in nutrition services.

The union workers are protesting against a bill that would cut bonuses and salary incentives.

The portreadores, who took to the streets without their cars, want the government to restore the number of informal taxi concessions.

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