Government printing facility reaches accord on employment

The nation’s public employee union says it has reached an accord with the central government to strengthen the Imprenta Nacional, the 177-year-old government printing facility.

The agreement comes amid rumors that the operation would be closed or privatized.

The principal product of the printing operation, the La Gaceta official newspaper, is going fully digital, so employees are worrying about their jobs. In addition, the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones just announced that the ballots for next year’s general elections will be contracted out to a private firm.

The union, the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados, said that rather than downsizing, the printing facility would look for new challenges. It said the accord would cause labor stability.

The Gaceta traditionally has been printed on paper and has run to a hundred pages or more and 4,500 daily copies. In addition to law and regulations, the Gaceta publishes private legal notices like trademark requests and even when a U.S. expat gets a new passport. The number has to be published if the expat owns a company or is involved in other legal situations.

However, with digital publication, a few clerks can do the job of a hundred printers. In addition, the digital edition can be searched electronically.

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