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  • Massive marches took place in defense of public education and decent work, Guayaquil, Ecuador. May 18, 2020.

    Massive marches took place in defense of public education and decent work, Guayaquil, Ecuador. May 18, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @UNENACIONAL

Published 27 May 2020
Opinion

People defied the isolation measures caused by COVID-19 to denounce the closure of several public companies.

Over 2,000 people from labor, social and student organizations took to the streets of Ecuador on Tuesday to demonstrate against the economic measures and labor reforms of Lenin Moreno's government.

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Ecuador: Protests Against New Neoliberal Measures Amid Lockdown

The cities of Quito and Guayaquil concentrated the largest number of people, who defied the isolation measures caused by COVID-19 to denounce the closure of several public companies and the loss of jobs of 150,000 people.

Lenin Moreno cut public spending, closed state enterprises and embassies, reduced money for universities by nearly $100 million, affecting nearly 30 educational centers.

He also reduced public sector working hours by 25%, equivalent to a 16% wage cut.

"Thousands of people took to the streets of Quito and Guayaquil to protest the layoffs and austerity policies implemented by the government of Lenin Moreno to alleviate the deficit, as it begins its last year in office."
 

Seven public companies will be eliminated. Among them, Railways, Public Media, Training Center for High Performance Strategic Ecuador, the National Storage Unit and the Ecuadorian airline Tame.

This closure leads to the loss of more than 3,695 jobs.

"This is a tentacular neoliberalism, which is aligned with the International Monetary Fund, and is considered unconstitutional for unions and workers' groups," Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences professor Edison Hurtado explained.

The pandemic has been the excuse for governments to accelerate their agenda against the most vulnerable sectors.

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