Transport unions declare strike over, others continue

Photo: AP

Indigenous and workers organizations will continue with a massive strike Oct. 9.

Freight, bus and taxi union leaders of Ecuador announced Friday that they were ending their part in a now two-day national strike. However, other civil society organization leaders say they will continue to take to the streets against President Lenin Moreno’s austerity measures.

Union leaders said they are ending the strike for “national economy” and because of reasons “that have nothing to do with our organizations.”

The statement went on to say that the union members have given their response to the government regarding decree 883 that does away with the gasoline subsidies. “We handed over our petition and with that have completed our measures,” President of the National Federation of Public Transport Cooperatives, Abel Gomez declared.

The transport leaders also demanded the release of the transportation union leader, Jorge Calderon, who was taken into custody in Quito on Thursday. Some 370 other protesters were arrested by authorities across the country between Oct. 3 and 4.

“@CONAIE_Ecuador and #Fut announce the radicalization of their measures to be carried out indefinitely until the government repeals the #PaquetazoEconomico. They demand freedom of more than 300 political prisoners.”

Despite the transportation sector declaring an end to the strike, several other major social society organizations of Ecuador, such as the Confederation of National Indigenous of Ecuador (Conaie), the Popular Front, and the United Workers Front (FUT), collectively announced they will continue to protest throughout the country against the IMF-induced adjustments.

“We call on presidents of communities, associations, nationalities, and peoples of Ecuador take to the streets to claim our rights and reject the economic measures.” President of CONAIE, Jaime Vargas said.

During one of the protests in Quito, Nelson Erazo, Popular Front leader, told Reuters, “not even jail will stop the Ecuadorean people’s struggle.” He added, “These will be days of unrest.”

In addition, president of FUT, Messiah Tatamuez called on “the workers of the countryside and the city, the students, the retirees” to a massive national strike Wednesday, Oct. 9 “to combat the ‘Paquetazo’ that rewards the oligarchy and the IMF and takes away from the Ecuadorian people.”

Sources: teleSUR, Pichincha Universal, Reuters, EFE.

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