Cuban-born singer Gloria Estefan, who is scheduled to perform in Puerto Rico this weekend, has bought 2,000 tickets for her own show to be distributed by raffle among the 17,000 government workers who learned last week that they were losing their jobs beginning November 6th as a result of the current economic crisis. Stefan bought all the remaining upper-level tickets — at $40 each — as a gift to those who were affected, said Harold Rosario, the singer’s spokesman in Puerto Rico. Officials have begun distributing the tickets to various government agencies, which will raffle them.
The government announced the layoffs in late September as it tries to close the gap on a $3.2 billion deficit. The U.S. territory is struggling with its third year of recession with a 15 percent unemployment rate, higher than any U.S. state. Local unions have scheduled a one-day strike for October 15th in protest.
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