The San Juan Daily Star
DAP bonuses to workers just ‘public relations,’ union leader says
By The Star Staff
Puerto Rican Workers Central President Emilio Nieves Torres said Tuesday that the bonus from the debt adjustment plan that public employees will receive in December is nothing more than a “public relations exercise” that seeks to boost not only the image of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia in the next elections, but also that of the Financial Oversight and Management Board.
“It is an adjustment plan that will lead us to a second bankruptcy,” Nieves Torres said in a radio interview. “Here we have two sectors doing public relations. First the governor who alleges that this bonus was achieved by his effort when it was granted by the [oversight] board, and second, the board itself doing public relations so that people say, oh how good the board is, with all the cuts and increases that there have been in the country.”
Regarding the preferential treatment of workers represented by United Public Servants of Puerto Rico in the distribution of the bonus announced by the governor, Nieves Torres said the action is a lesson for those groups like the ones he leads, who have opposed the debt adjustment plans.
“It was a matter of dignity that we did not accept the offers made by the [oversight] board to endorse the debt adjustment plan,” he said. “They are penalizing those who were not willing to negotiate with the board, as was the case with the teachers, to whom they only wanted to give an increase of $425, and after our refusal they took to the street and managed to cause the increase to be $1,000. If they had sat down to negotiate, they would have surrendered their retirement system and had less money.”