Employees fear some want to privatize national printing agency

Employees at the state’s printing facility, the Imprenta Nacional, are worried that they may be targeted for unemployment by the central government.

The national government is seeking ways to reduce the red ink, and Imprenta workers are known for creating job actions and a strike.

The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados, which represents the employees, reported Wednesday that certain officials in the central government want to close the printing operation.

The imprenta Nacional is 176 years old, and it handles many of the governments printing needs, including producing the La Gaceta official daily newspaper and the bulletin of the Poder Judicial. When workers went on strike in November, government officials quickly beefed up the online version of
the publication and produced it for a time without the striking workers.

The central government is strongly digital, and this time of publication via the Internet is much less expensive than putting information on paper with ink.

Tuesday dozens of employees attended a meeting in the dining room of the La Uruca facility to hear union and government representatives discuss the future of the operation.

Union representatives fear the central government is seeking to put the printing service into private hands, and Albino Vargas Barrantes, secretary general of the public employees union, has promised to fight to keep this from happening.

At any one time, the printing facility might have more than 100 jobs in progress, including design work. There are more than 150 employees. The printing agency is under the control of the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.

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