"Mr. President, jobs are the most urgent issue," chanted thousands gathered near the Senate.
Summoned by the Workers' Plenary Inter-Union and National Convention (PIT-CNT), thousands of Uruguayans took to the streets of Montevideo on Thursday to protest President Luis Lacalle’s “Urgent Act”, which the Senate is currently debating.
Starting at 10:00 am, the Uruguayans began a four-hour national strike while citizens gathered in the vicinity of the Legislative Palace.
After making a minute of silence for those who have died, citizens began a rally rejecting the law that will affect the generation of employment through the domestic industries.
"The real urgency is the people... The urgent thing is jobs," the PIT-CNT Secretary Marcelo Abdala said and highlighted that a "new-type of health, economic, and social crisis requires immediate new-type responses."
"The Uruguayan people are mobilizing against the Shock-Doctrine-inspired 'Urgent Law' that aims to cut rights and impose a heavy hand."
The union leader recalled that over 200,000 people recently lost their jobs and some 400,000 informal workers are surviving in increasingly difficult conditions.
"People are mobilizing to generate change," the PIT-CNT President Fernando Pereira said, adding that "the government has to understand and be aware of people's demands."
"We need public policies that can offset the effects of the social disintegration that tens of thousands of Uruguayans are experiencing," he stressed.
��ABAJO LA LUC ��PARO GENERAL DE 24HS Y PLAN DE LUCHA ��LIBERTAD A SEBASTIÁN ROMERO ��QUE LA CRISIS LA PAGUEN LOS CAPITALISTAS pic.twitter.com/OEEHakyBBC
— Partido de los Trabajadores - Uruguay (@PT_Uruguay)
June 4, 2020
"Uruguay, Workers Party: Down with the Urgent Law. For 24 hours general and fight plan. Freedom to Sebastian Romero. Let the capitalists pay for the crisis."
The Broad Front Party president Javier Miranda explained that the Lacalle’s Urgent Law puts at risk the education and health system that Uruguay has been building for decades.
"The law dismantles policies that have been carried out for the benefit of the entire population," Miranda said.
While the process of the law continues in the Senate, the communication companies continue trying to position the supposed advantages of the new law.
"The Uruguayan government has the support of the mainstream media, which do not publish information on the economic crisis that thousands of people are experiencing due to the paralysis the pandemic generates," independent outlet El Estado Net recalled, warning that Lacalle's neoliberal bill can change Uruguayan democracy.