Puerto Rico strike halts classes
The strike by non-teaching employees at Puerto Rico's largest university
Tuesday after the university and the Brotherhood of Non-Docent Employees hit an
impasse in negotiations over a new labor contract. The strikers, with jobs ranging
from security guards to maintenance workers, are demanding better retirement
The picketing stopped classes at all of the public university's 11 campuses
Caribbean island, university officials said.
Although the university campuses did not officially close, professors and
stayed home to avoid crossing pick et lines.
A meeting will be held Friday to try to resolve the deadlock, university
"The university administration is very willing to resume dialogue," said
Sanchez, the university's interim president.
Since negotiations began in May, the University of Puerto Rico has agreed
union on many points in the contract, Sanchez said. But the negotiations broke
down on Saturday when the two sides could not agree on a portion of the contract
dealing with retirement benefits.
In the southern city of Ponce, dozens of picketers protested outside the
"The sun is punishing, but we remain steadfast in favor of the strike,"
Santiago, a spokeswoman for the striking workers.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.