Court orders striking RUM workers to cease blockades
By The Star Staff
The Mayagüez Superior Court approved an injunction appeal by the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (RUM by its Spanish acronym) Campus and consequently ordered the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus Employees Labor Federation (FLEURUM by its Spanish initials) to cease and desist from closing or blocking in any way any of the eight entrance and exit gates of the RUM campus.
RUM Chancellor Dr. Augustín Rullán Toro stated that “it is clear that the University has to be open and at the service of those who wish to study and work.”
“Freedom of expression must be able to coexist with the right to education,” he said in a written statement.
The court’s opinion states that “FLEURUM and each of its members, under any circumstances, are prohibited from preventing the entry of students, professors, employees, contractors and visitors from the community in general during the performance of any activity they organize.”
The court’s ruling recognized the right to free expression without hindering access to the RUM and its educational mission.
“The members of the FLEURUM have the right to associate, raise protests and express themselves freely, and this has not been in question here; however, their demonstrations cannot prevent the free access of students, professors and employees of the university campus, much less exercise control over the [the campus] entrance and exit gates,” the court ruling said, noting that “the action of FLEURUM in this case goes beyond the boundaries of the right to free expression.”
The ruling went on to say that the blocking of the gates undermines the mission and public function of the RUM.