Venezuelan teachers demand salary improvements in a tense protest in Caracas



Hundreds of workers in the education sector were stationed today before the headquarters of the Ministry of Education in Caracas to demand better wages, in what became a tense protest after several of the protesters tried to forcibly enter the government institution.

The struggle took place several times and the employees argued that they wanted to talk with the Minister of Education, Aristóbulo Istúriz, despite the fact that a commission had previously entered the institution.

The Bolivarian National Police (PNB) arrived at the scene and took control of the entrance after several minutes of tension and of struggling with some of those who tried to enter the force.

The protesters began shouting "out" when the PNB troops arrived who allegedly assaulted them while trying to create a police siege.

Teachers and workers from other sectors dependent on the state have protested since last June wage increases, respect for collective contracts and other benefits, which ensure that they have been lost due to inflation and economic measures taken by the president, Nicolás Mature.

In the place were educational workers from Caracas and the central states of Miranda, Aragua and Guárico, while in Zulia (northwest), Mérida (west), Monagas (east) and Sucre (east) there were also protests by public employees for the Same reasons.

"This is being done at the national level (...) here is (staff) teacher, worker and administrative so that the Minister of Education understands that we want to be respected collective bargaining that this year was signed by the president" unionist Edgar Machado told reporters.

Public employees have also reported "persecution" and "unjustified" dismissals in the midst of this labor dispute.

Venezuela, the country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world, is going through a severe economic crisis expressed in 3% daily inflation, failures in public services and shortages of food, medicines.

Maduro took a series of economic measures last August, among which is an increase in the minimum wage by 3,500%, the elimination of five zeros to the currency, the control of prices of some products and a tax reform.

The minimum wage was established at 1,800 bolivars (27 dollars according to the official change), but the food basket for a family of 4 people cost 12,211 bolivars (187 dollars) for the month of September, according to the Center for Documentation and Analysis for Workers. (CENDA)

Added to this, in Venezuela there are also protests due to the lack of gas, water, electricity, and the delay in the food package that the government provides subsidized to a sector of the population.

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