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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Court orders Suiza Dairy workers to stop preventing entry to the plant

Suiza Dairy argued that strikers’ actions had paralyzed normal operations and caused risky situations.

By The Star Staff

The San Juan Court of First Instance on Wednesday issued an order for employees under the General Workers’ Central (CGT by its initials in Spanish) to cease and desist from preventing entry to Suiza Dairy Corp. during their strike, following a lawsuit filed by the company.

The ruling, signed by Superior Court Judge Anthony Cuevas Ramos, orders the CGT, its president José Adrián López, and union members and officers to stop the use of fences, motor vehicles, or other obstructions that prevent vehicular and pedestrian access to Suiza Dairy’s facilities in San Juan.

“It is advised that failure to comply with this Order will be sufficient cause to order your arrest and immediate entry into jail for criminal contempt,” Cuevas Ramos said in the ruling.

The case began when Suiza Dairy filed a request for provisional injunction, and preliminary and permanent injunction, alleging that striking employees had resorted to violence, intimidation and blockades, compromising milk processing and supply and creating significant dangers to the plant and the surrounding community. The company argued that the strikers’ actions had paralyzed normal operations and caused risky situations.

Cuevas Ramos determined that the strikers’ actions constituted a seizure of the employer’s facilities through physical obstruction of access to property, harassment and intimidation, which justifies the issuance of the permanent injunction order under Act No. 50 of 1947, as amended by Act No. 90-2018.

The court clarified that the order does not prohibit the right to strike and peaceful demonstrations, but merely guarantees vehicular and pedestrian access to the Suiza Dairy facilities.

The striking workers and the CGT scheduled a press conference for Wednesday afternoon in front of the Suiza plant to react to the court’s determination.

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