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Bolivian May 2 Public Holiday Cancelled

Source: Ministerio de Trabajo, Empleo y Previsión Social (La Paz)
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2014


Bolivia's Minister of Labour, Daniel Santalla, has announced that the Government of Bolivia had finally decided not to declare of Friday, May 2, 2014, as a non-working public holiday in Bolivia, despite the unambiguous terms of the Decreto Supremo 1210.

Earlier this week (2014-04-09), Bolivia's Minister of Labour, Daniel Santalla, had announced that it was too soon ("es muy adelantado hablar sobre este tema") to discuss the declaration of Friday, May 2, 2014, as a non-working public holiday in Bolivia, despite the unambiguous terms of the "Decreto Supremo 1210", passed two years ago (2012-04-28), by the Bolivian Ministerio de Trabajo, Empleo y Previsión Social, and which enshrined the hitherto on and off practice of declaring bridge public holidays around the annual Labour Day public holiday (2011-04-15), though not systematically (2010-04-27 and 2007-04-26), for the Mondays before Labour Day (El día lunes inmediato anterior al 1º de mayo, en caso de que esta fecha sea en día martes) and the Friday after Labour Day (El día viernes inmediato posterior al 1ª de mayo, en caso de que esta fecha sea en día jueves).

The Bolivian Government's quite unconvincing explanation for going against its own decree of 2 years ago is that the law establishing May 1st as an annual non-working public holiday in Bolivia is on a higher plane than that of the Decreto 1210 ("Es cierto que el año 2012 se ha establecido, con relación al primero de mayo, doble feriado [...] pero, esto ha sido aclarado porque el primero de mayo ha sido elevado a rango de Ley y por lo tanto el feriado es solamente, un primero de mayo"). Today's announcement is that much more odd that nothing has changed since the Decreto 1210 was issued in 2012; Bolivia still has the same President, the same Minister of Labor, and the same law on public holidays.

Finally, today's announcement by the Bolivian Ministerio de Trabajo, Empleo y Previsión Social, also declared Thursday, April 17, 2014, Maundy Thursday, as a day without lunch break ("horario continuo") so that public sector employees may leave work at 4pm (16:00) in advance for the coming Easter public holidays in Bolivia ("Este el feriado del presente mes de 18 de abril con motivo del viernes santo ese día es feriado nacional por disposición de ley además va haber horario continuo el día jueves desde las ocho de la mañana hasta las cuatro de la tarde").

Ever since the 2010 announcement (2010-01-29) by Bolivia's Minister of the Presidency, Óscar Coca, that Bolivia's cabinet had decided to maintain all traditional Catholic public holidays, including Good Friday, Maundy Thursday is regularly declared as a day of "horario continuo" (2013-03-26 and 2011-04-20), with the day more rarely being declared as a full day non-working public holiday (2012-03-30).


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