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America’s Biggest Unions File Suit Against Puerto Rico Government Over ‘Illegally Convened’ PROMESA Bankruptcy Board

PROMESA BOARD: Is being sued by some of the biggest unions in America.

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SAN JUAN — American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court an adversary complaint against the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority and several Puerto Rico officials.

“AFSCME brings this action to secure and protect the rights of its members, both active and retired employees of the Commonwealth, for the purpose of obtaining declaratory and injunctive relief to oppose the implementation of austerity measures on Commonwealth employees and retirees through furloughs and cuts to retirement income,” the plaintiffs allege. “The anticipated furloughs and cuts are the product of an unauthorized and illegal policy adopted by an unelected oversight board, to be imposed by such Board over the objection of the Commonwealth’s democratically-elected governor.”

In addition, the suit says that the PROMESA board was illegally convened.

“Putting aside matters of Puerto Rican sovereignty and democratic principles, these actions of the Board are illegal as they violate the terms of PROMESA and exceed the statutorily-conferred authority granted by PROMESA to the Board. AFSCME and its members are invested in the Commonwealth’s financial recovery and desire, above all else, for it to thrive. Unlike some other of the Commonwealth’s creditors, the result of these Title III proceedings will not be reflected merely by a line item adjustment to a balance sheet, but will be endured by AFSCME members daily – at home, work, and in retirement – through a multitude of daily lived experiences.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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