The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) applauds Puerto Rico’s legislature for standing up for workers and restoring collective bargaining rights.
A statement released by LCLAA says that “after intense pressure from the labor movement, students, workers and the community in Puerto Rico, Governor Luis Fortuño signed a law that restores collective bargaining rights for public employees, extends contracts for two years and provides a mechanism for labor unions to open up negotiations on economic aspects of these collective bargaining agreements.
“ Puerto Rico first enacted a fiscal emergency law in March 2009 intended to address the budget deficit at the expense of workers. The law called for layoffs of thousands of workers and imposed a two-year freeze on the economic clauses of all collective bargaining agreements, provoking mass mobilizations across Puerto Rico to protest its implementation,” the statement continued.
“In solidarity with Puerto Rico’s workers, LCLAA held rallies across the U.S., and our leaders have been working arduously on the island to put an end to this draconian law,” said LCLAA National President Milton Rosado.
“Like public workers in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and other states, workers in Puerto Rico have suffered under legislation aimed at eradicating their collective bargaining rights and forcing massive layoffs,” says IAM Western Vice President Gary Allen. “The difference between Puerto Rico and the other states,” added Southern Vice President Bob Martinez,” is that the public workers in Puerto Rico have got their collective bargaining rights restored. Let’s hope Puerto Rico is just the first of many more to obtain victory.” Both Allen and Martinez also serve as Vice Presidents on LCLAA’s National Executive Board.