Costa Rica: Urgent solidarity action for trade unionists

Workers’ leaders victimised

On 30 January, the board of Costa Rica’s public Social Security Institute (INS) sacked Luis Salas Sarkís, General Secretary of both the INS workers union, UPINS, and the small, but combative and democratic union federation, Central General de Trabajadores (CGT), of Costa Rica, in clear violation of International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions. This was added to the sacking of UPINS Women’s Secretary, Alicia Vargas, in March 2008.

The trade unionists where sacked for their active participation in national campaigns against the CAFTA (free trade agreement) with the USA, against the privatisation of social security and for the rights of INS employees, as well as against corruption inside the public sector.

The UPINS has also served as an exemplary solidarity organization. They have supported – despite their modest financial means – many social struggles throughout the country. For this reason, many trade unions, social organisations and the students’ federation of the University of Costa Rica have joined the national solidarity committee, which is organising a national and international campaign in defense of the comrades.

You can help in this struggle for trade union freedom and democratic rights by sending protest letters to the president of the republic, demanding the immediate re-instatement of Luis and Alicia Vargas and spreading this call for solidarity.

Send the signed letter (including your trade union, party, etc…) to:

  • Casa Presidencial al siguiente correo
    • fax (506) 2253- 9078

Send copies to

  • Junta Directiva INS
    • 2221-1696
  • ILO / OIT
    • 2224-2678
  • Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social
    • 2222-8085
  • and to CWI Costa Rica


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