Two Costa Rican workers reinstated

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In August 2007, Albertina Muñoz Castrillo was sacked by the cassava producing company Caribbean Best S.A. in Costa Rica's Atlantic zone. A year later, the same company sacked Consuelo Soto Jiménez, alleging in the case of both women that they had committed serious faults. However, as the courts eventually demonstrated, their real 'fault', from the employer's point of view, was to have joined the SITRAP trade union.
On 23rd July 2013, accompanied by the union's General Secretary, the two women went to their former workplace to claim their jobs back, as the Supreme Court had ordered. In the case of Albertina Muñoz, although the resintatement had been ordered by the court back in 2011, Caribbean Best had ignored the order. A successful meeting led to both women being taken back on, and they started work again the next day. They are now receiving full back-pay and social security contributions for the 5-6 year period it took to secure their reinstatement.
One of the changes the current labour legislation reform package - scheduled to go before the Congress in the coming weeks – is designed to bring about is to speed up this kind of cases.

«Not only is it encouraging that the union is winning more and more of these individual cases» said SITRAP's General Secretary Didier Leiton, «but they are very important precedents for the companies to start to respect the freedom of workers to form or join trade unions in the plantations of this country».

Source : SITRAP, Siquirres, Costa Rica.