EspañolThe Uruguayan Senate has passed a bill that seeks to criminally punish employers who do not provide safe conditions for their workers. The bill, passed with 16 votes from the Broad Front over 13 from the opposition, had support from the Uruguayan Communist Party (PCU), the Single National Union of Construction and Allied Sectors (SUNCA), and the Popular Participation Movement (PPM).
Business owners in Uruguay have responded by calling the new law “unconstitutional” and plan to appeal to the Supreme Court. Martin Risso, an expert in constitutional law, said the new law “is terribly flawed from a technical point of view,” and that it “clearly has unconstitutional and other questionable elements.”
The initiative generated division among politicians, and some warned of the “vulnerability” within the law’s text. Tabaré Vázquez, leading candidate for the Broad Front and former president of Uruguay, asked supporters of the new law to “be careful,” stating the law could have unintended consequences contrary to its objective.
During the meeting, Communist Senator Eduardo Lorier spoke of the importance of this law in raising awareness about the number of work-related accidents that happen in Uruguay every year. He also commented that, in today’s work place, “it is considered more important to take care of a machine than of a worker.”