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Puerto Rico to Pay Christmas Bonuses Despite Storm's Toll

  • Island law requires businesses, government to pay bonuses
  • The perk became a point of conflict in fight over austerity
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) employees fix power lines in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017.
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) employees fix power lines in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017.Photographer: Xavier Garcia/Bloomberg
Updated on

Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy and the crippling blow of Hurricane Maria won’t deprive the government’s employees of their Christmas bonuses. 

Governor Ricardo Rossello said Monday that he would cover the payments, despite the financial strains that have been made even more severe since the September storm that caused much of the economy to grind to a halt. Both the government and businesses are required to pay such bonuses under a decades-old Puerto Rican law, providing a year-end boost that workers have come to rely upon.