December 3, 2020

Colombian organizations promote the national strike on November 21

Colombian unions, indigenous and social sectors called for a national strike on November 21 to, according to what they said on Wednesday, to reject supposed reforms to the pension system and the economic policy of the Government, with what they hope to put the country "in tune" with The protests of the continent.

Senator Wilson Arias, of the leftist Alternative Democratic Pole (PDA), said today at a press conference that the protest day is against "the pack of President Iván Duque, who seeks reforms that go against the less favored classes."

The mobilizations will be "just to get in tune with what is a continental aggression," said Arias, referring to the protests that in recent weeks have rocked countries like Chile and Ecuador.

Chile has been experiencing a social outbreak with massive demonstrations since October 18, as well as pockets of violence and riots that have been repressed and have killed at least 20 people.

Protests have also occurred for various reasons in Ecuador, Panama and Bolivia.


According to the congressman, currently 2.4 of the 48.2 million Colombians "go hungry" and more than 600,000 people have lost their jobs in the last year.

According to the workers' centrals, the strike on November 21 is due to the fact that the Government applies policies dictated by international organizations such as the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that, in their opinion, harm workers .

The president of the Unitary Central of Workers (CUT), Diógenes Orjuela, explained that with the supposed reforms work stability is affected and it is sought that people cannot access the pension.

"It is a regressive policy in all orders," said the union leader, who recalled that a tax reform will also be processed in Congress that gives companies more gavels.

However, Duque has stated on several occasions that he does not support the proposals to increase the retirement age or the percentage that is currently quoted to have a pension.

"I do not share that thesis because we want people to have a decent pension at the appropriate age," he said last Saturday about retirement in Colombia at 57 for women and 62 for men.


Senator Gustavo Bolívar, from the List of Decency, defended the strike and said that it is justified because the country "is experiencing a moment of economic, social, security breakdown, which makes it a moral imperative to go out into the streets."

He said that this protest can "emulate our friends in the region as they recently did in Puerto Rico, as they did in Ecuador, as they did in Chile and Argentina."

The legislator said he hopes the strike "will continue over time until all participants can achieve our aspirations," which he did not specify.

He recalled that in Colombia, unlike Chile, the reforms have been carried out "little by little" and that even the Government has presented three tax reforms in just 18 months.


For his part, left-wing senator Iván Cepeda, of the PDA, said that the strike will take place in a regional context because "there are mobilizations in other Latin American countries."

He added that this protest "cannot be interpreted as a kind of collusion that comes from Cuba and Venezuela, as it has been wanted to present, but it is clear that there is a deep crisis."

"The time has come for the Government to make a very serious reflection and make a change in its policy," he added.


The president of the Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Fecode), Nelson Alarcón, said that teachers join the strike because "Duque's politics are regressive, perverse."

According to Alarcón, in the last 25 years more than 1,100 teachers have been murdered in the country and this year there are ten.

(tagsToTranslate) Colombian (t) organizations (t) promote (t) national (t) November

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