Government defends letting Limón strikers return without docking pay

Casa Presidencial says it was able to let striking Limón dockworkers off the hook because the declaration that their strike was illegal had not been validated by a higher court.

Negotiators agreed Wednesday night that the dockworkers would return to the job Thursday without any pay deductions for the days they had been off work.

Although the strike had been declared illegal last week, an appeal was pending Wednesday.

Not until Thursday did the Tribunal de Trabajo de Limón resolve the appeal and affirm that the strike was illegal, noted Casa Presidencial.  By then strikers were back at work.

The government also cited a Sala IV constitutional ruling that said strikers could not be dismissed or penalized as long as there was not a declaration of illegality. Strikers had been off work since Oct. 22 when police took over the docks.

The Casa Presidencial statement in conjunction with the Ministerio de Trabajo was seen as trying to deflect criticism as to why there would be no penalties for the strikers.

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