On Wednesday, Guatemala witnessed a demonstration by health workers who gathered in San Julian, the municipality of Tactic, complying with the National Strike announced by the Public Health Workers Union.
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The main request by demonstrators is compliance with article 146 of Decree 16-2021, which orders that all health workers working under contract be transferred to permanent positions. Authorities led by the departmental governor, Fernando Jeremías Rodríguez Clark, met with demonstrators.
Rodríguez said that the President had previously informed him that good agreements exist in the capital. "As public health workers, we are tired of so many lies, so much deceit and mockery by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS)," said a representative of the Departmental Committee of Workers' Unions of the San Juan de Dios Hospital.
"They call us heroes when it is convenient for the Ministry of Health, but not when it comes to dignifying our work. Health workers have been exploited, their rights have been violated and our colleagues are threatened. We are here because the Ministry of Health has not complied with the law; we are fighting for a dignified salary; the health workers have received miserable salaries," said another health worker.
Delegates of the Auxiliaries of PDHgt verify respect for #DDHH, actions of PNCdeGuatemala and mediate so that the passage in #BloqueosGT is released, carried out in different parts of the country by health workers to demand that @MinSaludGuate comply with the article 146 number 16-2021.
It is estimated that about 1000 workers do not have work privileges such as labor benefits, vacations, or social security. According to data presented by the union representative, approximately 36 000 workers do not have these rights at the national level.
As demonstrators were carrying signs which read: "We demand wage equalization" "No to wage exploitation," they were waiting for a response to the hearing requested by the Attorney General's Office (PGN) and its intervention due to the non-compliance with article 146 of decree 16-2021.
Health workers from Panzós, Tucurú, La Tinta, Senahú, Cahabón and Cobán participated in the demonstration. The demonstrator said they would wait for a response in the coming days; given a deadline of April 16 for a favorable response, otherwise, they will call for a massive demonstration in the capital city.