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  • Workers Unions rally against the reform of labor laws, Panama CIty, Panama, July 30, 2020.

    Workers Unions rally against the reform of labor laws, Panama CIty, Panama, July 30, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 30 July 2020
Opinion

Corporations want to take advantage of the pandemic to introduce regulations against workers' rights.

Panama's workers and college students Wednesday marched against changes to the Labor Code for the third consecutive day. The reform is a governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Protesters denounced the measure seeks that "only workers pay" for the crisis.

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Protesters went up to the Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Agriculture. They denounced that adjustments to the current labor law “grant benefits to the big businessmen” at the same time as “the quality of life of the population becomes precarious”.

"We are united against the labor reform, which is imposed from the 'cradle of the vultures of the oligarchy', the Chamber of Commerce… They are taking advantage of the existing pandemic," the Unitary Federation of the Working Class (Fuclat) leader Alejandro Jhon said.

"People from the popular sectors are dying and the inert government is trying to convince the population that the number of infected people is decreasing," he added.

Panama: Union and Popular organizations carry out protests across the country in rejection of Labor Code reforms amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The march also sought to show "solidarity with each of our relatives, the people who are victims of the pandemic's mismanagement," a college activist Ileana Correa indicated.

"Right now, we are suffering from not only a precarious situation caused by the pandemic but also anti-worker policies the government is promoting," she added.

The citizens' demonstration was escorted by the National Police and developed without incident. Commercial aviation and transport workers also participated.

As of Thursday morning, Panama had reported over 61,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,349 deaths.

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