Photo: Puerto Rico
Hundreds of employees of Puerto Rican government agencies and state-owned enterprises took to the streets of San Juan on Wednesday to protest pay and benefit cuts.
The workers gathered in front of the Minillas Government Center in San Juan, where the main offices of the Government Development Bank, the Department of Transportation and Public Works, the Planning Board, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Public Buildings Authority are located.
There, the president of the union representing more than 3,000 employees of state water company AAA, Alberto Hernandez, told Efe that they were protesting against major budget cuts that will have an impact on his members’ pay and benefits.
“This affects us all. It affects the economy of this country. How can it be that the worker continues to be the slave who pays for the deficiencies of this administration which has led to the debacle of the economy?” he asked.
Other union organizations also joined the protest.
As part of the protest, the offices of the AAA in San Juan, Mayagüez, Isabela, Carolina, Ponce and Coamo remained closed on Wednesday, Hernandez said.
These protests and work stoppages have been criticized by the public.
“We’ve always said that we ourselves are the people. Whoever believes that the debacle of this government doesn’t affect them is really confused,” said the union leader regarding the criticism.