Neoliberalism called target of Friday march

The general strike that is planned for Friday is taking a decidedly ideological turn.

The organization coordinating the strike said in a statement Tuesday that the action was against the neoliberal model. That comes from the Bloque Unitario Sindical y Social Costarricense.

The organization also says that it opposes the neoliberal tax reforms and taxes on salaries and the proposed value-added tax.

Neoliberalism generally means economic liberalism. The strike organization also is calling for renationalization of telecommunications. Under the free trade treaty with the United States, the state Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad surrendered its monopoly on telecommunications and a host of cell telephone companies sprung up as competition. Presumably, the strike organizers want to have the country drop out of the trade treaty.

The organization also is calling for taxes on corporations that have located production facilities in free trade zones.

The organization said that between 8 and 10 a.m. Friday strikers will gather at either Parque Central on Avenida Segunda or at the Fuente de Hispanidad in front of Mall San Pedro. Either gathering will block traffic on Avenida Central.

The route of the march will be to Casa Presidencial in Zapote.

The Bloque Unitario Sindical may have as many as 80 separate unions associated with it.

The organization also said that private neoliberal interests were undermining the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, what it called the bastion of the public’s social security. An announcement deplored what it said was the permanent attacks by the privatization of medical services.

Of great concern for the public employee unions involved are changes in the salary rules that may reduce their income.

The government is deeply in debt, and some plans have been advanced to reduce the salaries of its employees.

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