March for fair labor policies set for Friday
By John McPhaul
Union and social organizations announced that they will march this Friday demanding from the government a fair salary for public servants, a dignified retirement and zero privatization.
“We will be gathering from 11 a.m. at the main gate of Hiram Bithorn Stadium and then will march at 1 in the afternoon,” Puerto Rican Association of University Professors (APPU by its Spanish initials) spokesman Javier Córdova said at a press conference.
“We still haven’t decided where we’re going to go,” he added.
The spokespersons for APPU, the Electrical Industry and Irrigation Workers Union (UTIER), Pro-Solidarity (PROSOL)-UTIER, the Federation of Teachers, UNETE, EDUCAMOS, the Puerto Rican Workers Union, the Central Federation of Workers, the United Auto Workers and Socialist Democracy, among others, said public servants will be picketing during the morning hours at their work centers and then will move on to Hiram Bithorn.
“We will send a clear message to Governor Pedro Pierluisi and to the Legislature that the country’s teachers and working class have clear objectives and we are going to fulfill them,” said Mercedes Martínez, spokesperson for the Federation of Teachers.
UTIER President Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo added that the union will be declaring a 24-hour work stoppage starting at 10 p.m. Thursday.
“Our retirement, despite being a trust, is also being threatened by the [Financial Oversight and Management] Board and its austerity measures that will lead us to misery; in addition, the privatization of power generation will have greater increases in energy costs,” he said. “For this reason we will be stopping work for 24 hours and we invite all the people to join this march, in the same way that we joined in October and sent a clear message against LUMA and the privatization of power plants. We join the demand of public servants and the country for better salaries and a decent retirement.”
Later on Wednesday, the Workers Union of the University of Puerto Rico ratified a 48-hour strike at UPR operations in all units today and Friday.