On Tuesday, the "People United for Life" Alliance decided to maintain the protests to demand from President Laurentino Cortizo concrete answers to the problems that overwhelm the Panamanian population, among which are the high prices of gasoline and food.
Construction Workers Union to Go on Strike in Panama
Social mobilization, however, is not limited to demanding the freezing of fuel and food prices, since workers, professionals, teachers, and students propose a 32-points agenda that aims to dismantle the neoliberal State that is in force for decades.
“The accumulated problems are the result of a neoliberal model imposed by the elites and seven successive administrations controlled by traditional parties, which profit from the needs of the people,” National Union of Construction Industry Workers (SUNTRACS) Secretary Saul Mendez said and made a call to remain united in claiming "a decent life for all."
Protesting outside the National Assembly, citizens demanded better wages and working conditions for teachers and health workers. They also ratified their support for the 48-hours national strike that begins on Wednesday.
The Association of Social Security Doctors and Dentists (AMOACSS) highlighted that the Cortizo administration has not proposed any real solution to the current conditions of health and education workers. Nor does the Panamanian government "speaks of reductions in the prices of medicines and the supply of medicines for hospitals."
The National Central of Workers of Panama (CNTP) Secretary Alfredo Graell stated that workers will pressure the Cortizo administration to comply with all social demands and ratified the unity of a people that is tired of the mismanagement of successive governments.
“This march is already historic because it demonstrated our organizational capacity and how much can be advanced in unity,” Association of Professors of Panama (ASOPROF) Secretary Fernando Abrego said and insisted that at least six percent of the Panamanian gross domestic product (GDP) be assigned to the education system.
Despite the growing social discontent, the Cortizo administration announced on Tuesday fiscal austerity measures such as a 10 percent reduction in the public workforce and the start of a voluntary retirement program for public sector employees.