In Peru, where the miners have been on strike for a month, the wave of industrial unrest spread on Wednesday (6 September) to civil servants and bank employees.
In Peru, where the miners have been on strike for a month, the wave of industrial unrest spread on Wednesday (6 September) to civil servants and bank employees. Their dispute, over planned redundancies, threatens even more disruption of the economy.
SYNOPSIS: Most banks, government ministries and administration departments were closed as the civil servants and bank staff stayed away from their offices. Their action brought more troops into the streets of Lima, the capital, to protect the buildings against possible demonstrations. Outside Lima, five of the country's most important mining areas are under a state of emergency, and constitutional guarantees have been suspected.
With all Peru's mining provinces now under direct military rule and the banks closed, it's estimated the country is losing 2.5 million dollars a say in lost export earnings. When the civil servants began their stoppage, there were violent clashes with the police, and several people were injured. Since then, the strike, which had been called for 48 hours, has been extended indefinitely.
The failure of the banks to open for business has caused great concern in Lima. The country is in the grip of a severe economic recession and cannot afford the cost of prolonged disputes.. Disruption of the commercial and administration life in Lima has also placed a further strain on the military government, already fully occupied with the miner's strike.
The Government has already said it is prepared to call general elections earlier than its planned target of 1980 if a new constitution can be agreed before then. The new constitution is intended to reflect social changes introduced since the armed forces launched what they call their "peaceful revolution" ten years ago. Now members of the Congress claim that extremist forces are trying to prevent a peaceful return to democracy.