- Title: BOLIVIA: No end to Bolivian protests despite agreement
- Date: 13th May 2010
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) TEACHERS REPRESENTATIVE, WILMA PLATA, SAYING: "This government is not our government because the government is working with trans-national companies and leaving the crisis on our shoulders. It leaves us with salaries with which we cannot eat and a horrible retirement plan." VARIOUS OF TEACHERS DEMONSTRATING
- Embargoed: 28th May 2010 13:00
- Topics: Employment,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA8Y2WGZ57G1S8BD443OV3W2MW3
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Bolivian workers held their ground and remained on strike Wednesday (May 12) after a small group of workers negotiated a deal with the government of President Evo Morales on Tuesday.
Most manufacturing, mining, teaching and health care workers groups on strike rejected the plan which was praised by Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera.
"Under the direction of President Evo [Morales] who did the minute by minute of this extraordinary agreement between the confederations, federations and the leaders of the Bolivian Workers Centre [COB] dealing with the pension law and workers rights; the three issues that were in a difficult spot are now resolved following about 48 or 72 hours and will once again be calmly taken up," said Linera.
The agreement was negotiated by the COB umbrella union which led the call for the indefinite strike which started on Monday.
Miners and other worker groups in the mineral-rich Andean country joined the walkout demanding a higher wage increase than the five percent put forward by the government.
A group of manufacturing workers decided to further expand their ongoing hunger strike after the negotiations.
"Yesterday, we, the factory workers for the department had a meeting and evaluated the situation and we decided to continue with the methods we are using and to expand the hunger strike. Thirty more union workers joined today," said factory worker currently on hunger strike, Bernardo Bedoya.
The workers groups vowed not to give in until their demands were met and said they may begin blocking streets and highways throughout the country as early as Thursday.
Teachers groups were the first to hit the streets starting last Friday.
On Wednesday they continued their demonstration with a 10 kilometre (6 mile) march to the Education Ministry chanting anti-government slogans and burning an effigy of Education Minister Roberto Aguilar.
A representative for the teachers group, Wilma Plata, said their salaries did not provide enough for them to live on.
"This government is not our government because the government is working with trans-national companies and leaving the crisis on our shoulders. It leaves us with salaries with which we cannot eat and a horrible retirement plan," said Plata.
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