257 Railroad Workers Get Paid After 13 Years of Waiting
Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 11:31 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: Back in 1997 the Government of Panama under former president Ernesto Perez Balladares privatized the railroad. These 257 former government employees were basically fired from one day to the next and tossed out on their asses. A long series of legal battles ensued and eventually they won a judgement from the Supreme Court which said the government of Panama owed them the money. This judgement was handed down a long time ago, during the administration of Martin Torrijos, who never saw fit to actually cut the checks and pay the workers what they legally had coming to them. Ricardo Martinelli's administration finally did what should have been done in 1997 - they took care of their employees. I remember meeting a handful of these people several years ago, as they marched towards the offices of the Comptroller to hold yet another protest. Yesterday, they finally got paid. Good for them.