The Workers Unity Front (FUT), Ecuador's largest labor center, held a protest today against a package of measures applied by the government, especially the increase in the price of gasoline and a salary increase considered meager by the union.
The unionists paraded through the streets of downtown Quito to demand the repeal of the economic measures applied by the government of President Lenin Moreno, which they considered "unpopular" and that only benefit the business and banking sectors.
Some 3,000 demonstrators displayed signs in which they expressed union discontent over adjustment measures, which they called "economic package" that, they said, harm the people, because if the price of gasoline increases, "everything goes up" the rest .
The president of the FUT, José Villavicencio, told Efe that this is "a first action in the face of the government's economic measures" and that in January others will be defined to demand the repeal of the rise in the prices of gasoline, since " it directly affects the people. "
In addition, he described as an "aggression" the announcement of the Government on the increase of eight dollars (two percent) to the basic monthly salary (which is currently of 386 dollars), since he considered it meager for the workers and a new incentive for the entrepreneurs
"The entrepreneurs are only interested in swelling their pockets, they are not interested in workers' lives," Villavicencio added after criticizing that the main parameter for calculating the wage increase was inflation, at a time when the country is talking about of stagnation of the economy.
"We need to change the mechanisms and rules to discuss wage policy for the benefit of the majority of Ecuadorians," whose economically active population receives remunerations below $ 400 per month, added the union leader.
In addition, he said that "it is contradictory for the government to talk about generating employment" and, on the other hand, announces the dismissal of 125,000 public servants.
From the FUT, "alternatives" have been raised that have not been heard by the Executive, Villavicencio added by demanding "rectifications" from the Moreno government.
On his side, Mesías Tatamuez, another union leader, assured that the march tries to make clear that the Government has turned to support the business sector, to the detriment of workers' rights.
To alleviate the difficult economic situation faced by the country, Tatamuez suggested that businessmen stop asking for help from the State and, rather, repatriate the capital they keep outside the country, especially in the so-called tax havens.
"They can bring all the money they have out there and help" the country, the trade unionist told the businessmen and bankers.
For its part, the Government has justified the application of adjustment measures, especially the reduction of subsidies or state aid to fuel prices, which means an increase in the price of gasoline.
According to the Ministry of Energy, in the last 40 years, the subsidies have cost the country some 50,000 million dollars, which justified the reduction of such aid and other measures with which it intends to raise about 400 million dollars a year.
The Ministry, in a statement, said that the price of gasoline "super", high octane, will be regulated by supply and demand.
He also announced the increase in the price of "extra" and "ecopais" gasoline, of mass consumption, as well as of diesel.