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News > Panama

Panama: Unions Break Agreements With the Government

  • Sunday's agreement did not include all organizations that called for protests, Suntracs leaders say. Jul. 18, 2022.

    Sunday's agreement did not include all organizations that called for protests, Suntracs leaders say. Jul. 18, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@buzondenoticia

Published 18 July 2022

Trade unions denounce that the agreements reached on Sunday on fuel prices do not satisfy the union demands.

The agreement reached on Sunday between the Government of President Laurentino Cortizo and a front of unions and social organizations to lower fuel prices has been broken by Panamanian unions, led by the construction union (Suntracs).

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Luis Sanchez, general secretary of the Association of Veragüense Educators (AEVE) and representative of the National Alliance for the Rights of the Peoples (ANADEPO), confirmed the agreements' breakdown. 

Thus, multiple protests and road blockades, with a call to extend the demonstration, is the scenario that the country is experiencing this Monday. Panama City is the center of the main blockades, where workers of the construction union (Suntracs), the largest in the country, closed the different accesses to the capital and its main roads.

According to Suntracs leaders, Sunday's agreement did not include all the organizations that called for the protests. The union's general secretary, Saúl Méndez, said he was unaware of "any agreement signed in Veraguas," referring to the Panamanian province where the agreement was signed on Sunday.

The Archbishop of Panama, José Domingo Ulloa, announced this Monday, July 18, 2022, that the Alianza de Pueblo Unidos por la Vida – where Suntracs is located – is willing to sit down to negotiate at a single talks table. 

The general secretary said that Suntracs maintained contacts with the Catholic Church to promote a new dialogue with "a single table and with all the actors that are fighting in the streets to find a solution to the problems that the country is experiencing."

Fernando Cebamanos, also from Suntracs, called for more concrete actions by the Government and said that "the decrease in the cost of gasoline cannot be a subsidy because it would come out of our social budget. It must be the result of reducing the distributors' profit margins."

Social organizations and unions grouped in the Alianza Pueblo Unido por la Vida have rejected the measures adopted by the Government of Laurentino Cortizo to face the world economic crisis.

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