The nationwide general strike in Costa Rica continues as of late October as multiple labor unions have called for large-scale rallies in San José on Wednesday, November 7. According to union leaders associated with the National Association of Public and Private Employees (ANEP) and the Association of Secondary School Teachers (APSE), its members will stage "several activities" in the Greater San José Metropolitan area, and related demonstrations will likely be held in other major urban areas. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are likely near planned rallies throughout Costa Rica. The strike and related protests and transportation disruptions are expected to continue over the near term.
A general labor strike began on September 10 to protest a proposed tax reform bill (plan fiscal) that would increase taxes on certain items, including foodstuffs. Costa Rica is experiencing its largest financial crisis in 40 years as deficits are set to rise to 7 percent of its GDP. Strike-related actions have generally included protests, government service disruptions (e.g. healthcare and education), roadblocks, and vehicle caravans.
The Supreme Court of Justice recently determined the legislature will require a qualified majority of 38 votes to pass the reform bill; the previous vote received 35 votes in favor. Reports indicate 76 percent of private businesses nationwide have reported economic losses since the start of the strike, while the Ministry of Education indicated 70 percent of its workforce is participating in the work stoppage, crippling schools across Costa Rica.
Individuals in Costa Rica, particularly those in the capital San José, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate disruptions to transportation and government services - including at hospitals, health clinics, and schools - and avoid public gatherings as a precaution.
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