Labor struggles: the Americas – World Socialist Web Site

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Latin America

Teachers and transit workers stage a protest in Colon, Panama

The Colon Unity Coalition in the province of Colon announced last Monday that the protest strikes would continue. The strikers are demanding compensation and social assistance programs to deal with high rates of inflation, such as freezing fuel prices, creating jobs in the province, and providing adequate social services (the strikers point out that a promised government health center has been “under construction” for more than ten years, with no results in sight).

Colon teachers have appealed for support. Currently, public school teachers are boycotting face-to-face teaching. Transit workers have paralyzed public transit along the province’s nine transit routes.

Strike by Mexican teachers in the state of Zacatecas

Striking teachers in Zacatecas state blocked streets and rallied in Zacatecas town and Mazapil last week. A teacher spokesman said school administrators refused to negotiate. The teachers went on strike two weeks ago.

“We will no longer be ignored,” protesters said, calling on parents and workers to support their struggle. Teachers demand an end to substandard wages and working conditions.

Police attack Cordoba and city workers in Argentina to protest inflation

Protesting public workers in the city of Cordoba were attacked by police on Sunday May 29 as they approached a bicycle race.

City workers are demanding higher wages to compensate for and keep up with Argentina’s accelerating inflation (currently 5% per month). The workers took their protest to the “Córdoba Bike Tour” event where they were immediately met by volleys of tear gas from the police. One protester was injured, two others were arrested.

Mass protest against hunger wages in Venezuela

Several hundred workers marched through Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, to demand an end to the poverty wage policy imposed by President Maduro’s administration. The protest brought together workers, university workers, street cleaners, public transport, supermarkets and healthcare workers. Pensioners also joined the protest. Protesters were stopped by police barricades as they approached Miraflores Palace, the seat of Venezuela’s government.

In addition to wage increases that reflect the rising cost of living under conditions of hyperinflation (Venezuela’s annual inflation is 1000%), workers are also demanding health benefits, enough tools and tools to do their jobs, and whether the minimum wage is equal or higher. the minimum cost of living for households.

Protesters denounced the Maduro administration and demanded that workers imprisoned in past protests be immediately released.

United States

Washington State nurses rally to demand safe working conditions

Some 200 nurses at St. Michael Medical Center in Silverdale, Wash., held an information picket on May 26 to rally support for their contract demands as they head toward contract expiration May 31. In all, there are 650 nurses, members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 3000, who are involved in the current contract fight.

Safe staffing ratios top the list of concerns for nurses who have been exhausted from long hours during the pandemic. Working alongside travel nurses who receive very high salaries has not only been frustrating, but has prompted nurses to demand competitive salaries.

The nurses are also asking that the contract include language that anticipates major health emergencies and a provision protecting them from being forced to perform unsafe work. Nurses were called in to clean rooms, remove trash, do laundry and mop floors between patient care.

Only one trading session remains this week before the contract expires. At that time, the union will consider holding a strike authorization vote.

Canada

Strike begins at Enbridge natural gas depots in Ontario

About 100 workers across the province went on strike last week at energy giant Enbridge’s natural gas transmission, storage and production facilities. Pickets broke out Wednesday at the company’s Dawn Hub near Chatham, Ont., Canada’s largest gas storage and transmission facility. The strike is the first strike at the various energy depots since 1974.

Unifor members, many of the workers are employed as millwrights, boilermakers, pipefitters and compressor operators. The strikers are demanding wage increases commensurate with soaring inflation that has eroded the purchasing power of workers across the country.

Management said a contingency plan has been put in place to ensure operations continue for the duration of the conflict. However, analysts warn that the strike could soon impact the safe delivery of natural gas to customers.

About Yvonne Lozier

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