Refinery union ends strike after just one day

The union that represents workers at the government petroleum monopoly called off its strike after one day Thursday.

The Sindicato de Trabajadores Petroleros Químicos y Afines froze fuel deliveries but most filling stations had sufficient supplies.

Gilbert Brown, secretary general of the union, had announced strike plans well ahead of time and that allowed service stations to top off their tanks.

A check of San José gasoline stations found activity to be normal Thursday.

The union is opposed to government plans to adjust salaries and abrogate a labor contract.

It was unclear why the union called off its strike. The Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A. is the nation’s only supplier. That decision announced in the late afternoon also was a surprise to the refinery management.

The executive president, Jorge Villalobos, told an afternoon news conference that the firm was ready to handle the national demand even if a strike continues. He said the company could reopen a plant at Ochomogo, if necessary.

He and his management team stressed that the strike was not against the refinery but against the salary proposals by the central government.

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