The draft bill released by the U.S. House of Representatives addressing some aspects of Puerto Rico’s public debt crisis fails to meet standards that will protect pensions, workers’ rights and democratic rights of the people of Puerto Rico.
As a network of labor, progressive and community-based organizations committed to a sustainable future for Puerto Rico, we at VAMOS4PR are urging members of Congress to oppose H.R. 5278, the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stabilization Act” or “PROMESA.”
The people of Puerto Rico face an urgent humanitarian and fiscal crisis brought on by more than a decade of recession, excessive debt, and Wall Street demands for austerity. Congress must act immediately to provide a path for comprehensive debt restructuring and a sustainable economy that protects the accrued pension benefits of Puerto Rican workers and retirees, retains worker protections that apply to all working people in the U.S. including minimum wage and overtime protections and preserves the democratic rights of the people of Puerto Rico. PROMESA is unacceptable because the bill fails to meet these basic goals.
“We are urging members of Congress to put the people of Puerto Rico first and oppose H.R. 5278 as currently written,” said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa, whose organization is a member of VAMOS4PR. “But we need a real solution and Congress must get back to work immediately to provide a path forward that allows Puerto Rico to negotiate a feasible debt restructuring plan, protects workers’ rights and promotes sustainable economic growth.”
“H.R 5278 in its current form leaves Puerto Rico vulnerable to further economic distress, and it must be defeated. It does not protect the modest pensions of retirees, and is a further assualt on workers’ rights,” said Julie Kushner, Director of UAW Region 9A, an organizational member of VAMOS4PR. “Congress must go back to the table and craft a plan that creates an environment for a long-term growth economy that benefits and protects the people of Puerto Rico.”
VAMOS4PR is a network of labor, community, cultural and human rights organizations and individuals who live and work in the US mainland fighting for a fair solution to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. For a full list of organizations go to: https://www.facebook.com/Vamos4PR2/info/?tab=page_info