Colombia’s Main Union Refuses to Suspend National Strike Today (Dialogue Accepted)

The national president of the United Workers Central accepted the invitation to dialogue with President Duque, but said that the mobilizations will continue.

The main union that promotes protests against the economic and social policies of the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, rejected the possibility of suspending a national strike called for Wednesday, December 4, and insisted on a direct dialogue with the government to seek an agreement.

Speaking to RCN News, the president of the Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Fecode), Nelson Alarcón, said that unemployment leaders will nanswer the government’s call to begin the negotiation process based on the specifications submitted last week to President Duque.

Alarcón commented that they respect the request to suspend the mobilizations of December 4, but they will continue with the development of their activities including the strike tomorrow.

“There is no possibility, we continue to develop our activities as we have told the government.”

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“We will negotiate in the middle of the demonstration and we maintain the call for a great mobilization to strike on Wednesday,” Alarcón said in statements collected by Blu Radio.

“The strike has no reversal, we do not agree with the conditions that the government poses, but we are willing to dialogue and explore all possibilities,” said the president of the United Workers Central (CUT), Diogenes Orjuela, reported the Reuters news agency.

“We are not going to suspend the strike, the strike order is on for tomorrow, Wednesday, December 4,” said Orjuela before participating in a meeting of the National Strike Committee, composed of unions, student groups and social organizations, with the government.

The CUT is Colombia’s main union with more than 500,000 members and 700 workers associations.

Jennifer Pedraza, student representative for the National University reiterated the dialogue provision, “but we do not suspend the strike on December 4. On the contrary, we extend the call to take to the streets with greater force in defense of the demands of the National Strike Committee”.

In this sense, more indigenous people from different departments of Colombia are already in Bogota to participate in the national strike against government policies, in rejection of violence and for peace.

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“Indigenous delegations continue to be added in Bogotá for the #ParoNacional. On December 4 we must be thousands on the streets!” Senator Feliciano Valencia, of the Alternative, Indigenous and Social Movement wrote on his Twitter account.

Natives and students marched last November 29 in this capital as part of the mobilizations that have been taking place in Colombia for more than a week.

The whipala, considered a banner of the struggle of the native peoples, accompanies the indigenous people in the demonstrations that since the national mass strike of November 21 take thousands of people to the streets of Colombia to express their dissatisfaction with government policies.

Diego Molano, coordinator of the so-called Social Dialogue, said that the meetings that have been called National Conversation will continue, but that the executive will set up another table to have direct contact with the Paro Committee.

More than 20 members of the National Unemployment Committee and government delegates will begin this Tuesday at 08:00 in the morning direct dialogue that aims to lift the demonstrations throughout the country.

The parties reached that agreement after an exploratory dialogue that took place last Saturday and the government opened the way to that direct conversation where the specifications of 13 petitions presented by the promoters of the mobilizations will be addressed.

The promoters of the protest presented a list of 13 lawsuits that include the rejection of a reform to increase the retirement age and a salary below the minimum for young people, points that Duque denied were being processed in Congress.

Featured image: Quotas of indigenous communities of Colombia join the national strike tomorrow, December 4 | Photo: @FelicianoValen

Source URL: Telesur

Translated by JRE