Thousands gather for protest by unions

Marchers gather in front of Castillo Azul at the legislative complex. Photo: Daniel Woodall

Thousands of teachers and public employees marched Thursday, as expected, to protest possible tax increases and in search of higher salaries.

The march participants extended for seven blocks as they moved to the Asamblea Legislativa. The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados promises another march next month.

President Laura Chinchilla said in a release that the country was in the middle of a financial crisis, but she said central government officials would meet with marchers about salaries March 23. Union members also are worried about job loss and are unhappy with the current hiring freeze.

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