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News > Uruguay

Over 700,000 Uruguayan Workers Go on Strike to Defend Jobs

  • Workers post posters on a wall announcing the nationwide strike in Montevideo, Uruguay, June 24, 2019.

    Workers post posters on a wall announcing the nationwide strike in Montevideo, Uruguay, June 24, 2019. | Photo: Facebook / @pitcntoficial

Published 25 June 2019

The 24-hour nationwide stoppage is also supporting the hunger strike carried out by the Montevideo Gas company workers.

Uruguay's biggest union, the Workers' Intersindical Plenary & Workers' National Convention (PIT-CNT), began Tuesday a 24-hour nationwide strike in defense of employment, working conditions and collective bargaining.


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"We are striking for a forceful platform which embraces the defense of jobs and collective bargaining after the business attack," the PIT-CNT spokeswoman Laura Alberti said referring to what some business leaders said regarding their intention to change laws that regulate labor relations.

"Everything we have defended in the streets, we will defend in any place, even before the ILO, because we are not going to back a single step."

The general strike is expected to bring together over 700,000 workers in a country where trade unions' rights were promoted and respected by the previous leftist governments.

"Employers have always been against collective bargaining ... this election year several candidates who propose to change it or eliminate it, have received the applause and support of business chambers," the PIT-CNT president, Fernando Pereira, said.

Transport, health, education, banking, commerce and public workers are also striking in support of the hunger strike that is being carried out by the workers of Montevideo Gas, a local branch of the Brazilian company Petrobras. 

The company, which owns a network of gas stations around the country, announced that it will leave Uruguay because its operations are failing to yield profits. ​​​​​​

"Work is defended by fighting. In defense of employment, working conditions and collective bargaining. In solidarity with the workers on strike, among which the gas union stands out." The meme reads, "Uruguay, PIT-CNT general strike ... The 24-hour national general strike began yesterday at 20:30 with the last services of urban and suburban buses. "

In the process of closing its activities, the Montevideo Gas company dismissed its employees in the midst of a hunger strike staged by workers who are also demanding President Tabare Vazquez to end the gas distribution concession.

The Association of Banking Employees of Uruguay (Aebu), the Uruguayan Federation of Commerce and Services Employees (Fuecys) and the Confederation of Organizations of State Officials (Cofe) also joined the nationwide strike. ​​​​​​​

For its part, the Medical Union of Uruguay announced that it supports the workers actions, but will not paralyze their medical services so as not to harm the population.

The Uruguayan Press Association (APU) decided to carry out special transmissions called Open Radio from a tent installed at the Independence Square in the capital. 

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