Those with gripes will be marching

Sunday is International Labor Day, and a parade to vent grievances is traditional in Costa Rica. The event usually is highly photogenic with motivated communists mixing with environmentalists, expat women dressed as Palestinians and youngsters in traditional costumes.

Certain to be there will be the members of the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados. Members of the employee union plan to gather in front of the Correos de Costa Rica building at 8 a.m. to organize for their march down Avenida Segunda.

The theme this year is that workers are not responsible for the fiscal deficit and do not want higher taxes. The union’s main concern is that their salaries will be cut or other benefits lost. The central government had hoped to renegotiate some agreements with public employee unions, but that plan is moving at the pace of a snail.

Many of the worker agreements have major benefits, including those for local union leaders. For example, union leaders at the state petroleum monopoly, the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo, receive vehicles for their use each year.

This year animal rights activists are sure to march, too. That are miffed that the legislature adjourned without passing a law to protect animals. Some lawmakers are trying to defend what they call cultural practices. These include the bull baiting that takes place at major fairs and also cock fights.

The march usually ends at the legislature where lawmakers Sunday will be voting on leadership positions for the next year.

Everyone with a gripe can show up for the march, although recent weather suggests that there might be unusual morning thunderstorms.

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