This Wednesday, the workers’ central from Uruguay started a general strike, demanding more jobs and salary improvements, amid a fall in purchasing power, among other requests to the government of the right-wing Luis Lacalle Pou. At noon, the protesters gathered at the Legislative Palace in Montevideo and they will march through the central Avenida Libertador.
“We believe that, unlike what is happening, the ethical and political sense of public policies should be to reach out to the most deprived, most vulnerable sectors of society,” said the general secretary from the workers’ central PIT-CNT, Marcelo abdala, at a press conference, reported Télam
The labor union called a strike in defense of state companies and in rejection of the increase in public rates. It also demands the repeal of 135 of the 476 articles of the Law of Urgent Consideration, a government roadmap that is highly questioned by the Frente Amplio of the left and on which a referendum is being promoted.
Another slogan of the mobilization is “in defense of the Port of Montevideo”, after the Government extended for 50 years the concession to a Belgian company to operate in the container terminal. This is the third general strike of the PIT-CNT, which brings together almost all the Uruguayan workers’ unions, since Lacalle Pou took office.
The Uruguayan Government considered that the strike “is an absolutely valid instrument” in a democracy, although it recalled that the authorities are giving answers to the different problems of the country “from day one,” according to the Minister of Economy, Azucena Arbeleche.
Unemployment in Uruguay stood at 9.4% in June, according to the latest state report National Institute of Statistics (INE), just below the figure registered in June 2019 (9.7%), prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Likewise, according to INE data, the Average Salary Index rose 5.83% in the 12 months ended in July, a period in which inflation accumulated an increase of 7.3%.