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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 February 2009

Costa Rica: Urgent solidarity action for unionists

ON 30 January the board of Costa Rica's public Social Security Institute (INS) sacked Luis Salas SarkÝs, general secretary of both the INS workers' union UPINS and the small, but combative and democratic union federation Central General de Trabajadores (CGT) of Costa Rica - in clear violation of International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions. This follows the sacking of UPINS Women's Secretary Alicia Vargas in March 2008.

Victor Leon (CWI, Costa Rica)

The comrades were sacked for their active participation in the national campaign against the CAFTA (free trade agreement) with the USA, against the privatisation of social security and the rights of the INS employees, as well as against corruption inside the public institute.

The UPINS is also an exemplary solidarity organisation. It has supported - despite limited funds - many social struggles throughout the country. For this reason, many trade unions, social organisations and the students' federation of the University of Costa Rica have joined the national solidarity committee, which is organising a national and international campaign in defence of the comrades.

You can help in this struggle for trade union freedom and democratic rights by sending protest letters to the president of the republic, demanding the immediate reinstatement of Luis and Alicia Vargas, and by calling for solidarity.

Send the signed letter (with your function in trade unions, party, etc) to: Casa Presidencial al siguiente correo: mfernandez@casapres.go.cr or Fax: 00 506 2253 9078.

And send copies to these addresses:

  • Junta Directiva INS
  • 00 506 2221 1696.
    ciznardo@ins-cr.com
  • ILO / OIT
  • 00 506 2224 2678.
    sanjose@oit.or.cr
  • Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social
  • 00 506 2222 8085.
    fmorales@mtss.go.cr
  • UPINS-CGT
  • upins@hotmail.com
  • and to CWI Costa Rica:
  • alternativa.socialistaCR@gmx.info

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