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Day of protests in Paraguay to demand better salaries and budgets

The persistent strike by truck drivers since last week in Paraguay was accompanied on Tuesday by a protest by peasants and unions of teachers and medical workers demanding better salaries and budgets. The common denominator of the mobilizations was the breaking of agreements previously signed with the government of Mario Abdo Benítez, according to the different unions.

Recover family farming

With flags and posters in hand, hundreds of peasants arrived on Tuesday morning from different parts of the country at the microcentre in Asunción to demand the implementation of Law 6,669, which provides for the transfer of around 16 million dollars for the recovery of family farming, affected by the pandemic and weather conditions.

the peasant leader Jorge Galeano He argued that “there are nine joint processes, there are more than 15,000 identity cards taken from impoverished peasants and indigenous people, and Emergency law for assistance to family farming has been in force for eight months, but is dormant“. Galeano told the newspaper Last hour that the Paraguayan government has abandoned peasants and indigenous peoples to their fate, and that they feel “betrayed” for that reason.

teacher claim

for your part the teachers’ union went to the streets of Asunción to ask for a salary adjustment after several days of conversations with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Finance. The protest coincides with the treatment of the subject in the Chamber of Deputies. It is a law that establishes “temporary measures of economic consolidation and social containment to mitigate the impact of the covid-19 pandemic”.

The controversial point of the regulation is the one that prohibits the salary increase of all employees, in order to face the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. The teachers’ union asks for the exemption of its sector, noting that there has been a law since 2018 that establishes a gradual salary readjustment of 16% for educators, which should be executed in October. Teachers demand compliance with this clause, and To put pressure on the government of Abdo Benítez, they will stage a strike that will last two days from this Tuesday.

Doctors for equal pay

Like teachers, doctors protested for equal pay and to receive a salary compatible with the hours worked. Rossana González, general secretary of the National Union of Physicians (Sinamed), explained to the press that “there are doctors working 24 hours, there is another group working half the time for the same salary”, a situation that “has been going on for 10 years.”

Health workers are also demanding that medical personnel hired in recent months to fight the pandemic remain in their jobs. Shortly after nine in the morning, the façade of the Ministry of Health’s headquarters, located in the center of Asunción, began to gather members of the National Union of Physicians (Sinamed) in demand for compliance with the agreement signed by the government to increase the budget of around 15 million dollars already requested from the Ministry of Finance.

Truck drivers by freight law

The various protests on Tuesday were accompanied by the truckers guild, that since Several days ago he went on strike demanding the approval of a bill aimed at regulating the operating cost and the reference price of freight. Operators claim that they are being paid less than their fair share.

The Paraguayan Executive informed the creation of a Technical Commission for Land Cargo Transport define the value of the “grain and vegetable oil freight service”. For this reason, the Chamber of Senators decided to send back the bill that was being processed in the premises to the advisory committees.

The president of the Federation of Truckers of Paraguay, Angel Zaracho, regretted the postponement of the study of the project and said that he will maintain the strike. “We also value the effort of the Executive in finding a solution”, highlighted Zaracho in a dialogue with Universe 970 radio and clarified that there will be no road blocks in Asunción or in other parts of the country where they remain mobilized.

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