The country is seeing some of the largest protests in decades over a new law which takes away labor rights for those under the age of 25.
Representatives of youth groups from all areas of Lima came together Tuesday for a press conference at the Congress to demand that legislators host a special meeting to put an end to an unpopular law that would see labor rights for youth under 25 years of age cut.
The law has lost the support of a number of major political parties, who claim that it is stripping away the labor rights of Peruvian people. The proposal allows businesses to cut severance payments, bonuses, social security, and life insurance, while also reducing occupational insurance and vacation time from 30 to 15 days.
“We make a call to all citizens in general and urge that a special session of Congress takes place,” said Cesar Ames, one of the organizers and representative of university students at the press conference. “Today there is a meeting of party spokespeople and it is time that this matter be discussed and they listen to the general population that have been holding demonstrations and will continue to do so until this unjust law is repealed."
Congressman Manuel Dammert, from the left wing Broad Front coalition is supporting the initiative to have a special congress meeting to repeal the law.
"The government is stubborn and insists on maintaining this erosion in rights because what the government wants is to erode all labor rights. This is the beginning of an erosion of the working environment to the extreme, to make a regulatory regime without rights,” Dammert said. “That is why this battle of the youth is a battle for all the nation to defend the concept of dignified work."
President Ollanta Humala has maintained its support for the law notwithstanding its unpopularity. However, large business associations openly support the law.
Also, little space has been offered for critics of the law in the mainstream media concentrated in the hands of the same large corporations who support the labor reform.
Protestors recognize the media bias against their cause. During the last protest, mainstream media journalists were insulted and forced away from the marches. Demonstrators are now organizing themselves according to their neighborhoods, universities, cultural groups, party affiliation, and union memberships.
They are now convening a fourth march on January 15th which is expected to see an even larger number of participants.