Municipal employees in the Costa Rican capital went on strike Monday to demand the cancelation of a 2010 contract that outsourced garbage collection to a private company.
They want the municipality to invest in equipment, tools and garbage trucks rather than turn over control to a private company that does not respect workers’ rights, strike organizers said.
“The administration has come to depend on the private company and that is absolute poison for all the workers. If we can’t start a dialogue, trash will not be collected in the entire downtown area, nor will any street-cleaning be done,” the vice president of the San Jose branch of the ANEP union, Bolivar Sanchez, told Efe.
Workers are opposed to the outsourcing of trash collection to the Mexican firm PASA, arguing that it would have been cheaper to make minor repairs to the city’s existing fleet of garbage trucks.
“The private company fired all personnel on one of its routes and hired jobless workers who were not municipal employees. They were people living in extreme poverty, so the firm doesn’t pay for their insurance nor cover risks on the job,” ANEP chief Albino Vargas told Efe.
The union chief also slammed Mayor Sandra Garcia.
“Her style is one of arrogance and haughtiness. For her, everyone is worthless, all are inept, and she managed to crush the self-esteem of workers in the San Jose municipality - but today fear of her died,” Vargas said.