More than 5,000 demonstrators marched to press for higher wages in Lima on May 31.
1. GVs Demonstrators gathered in street,carrying banners. (3 SHOTS) 0.40
2. SV Lord Mayor of Lima, Alfonso Barrantes,leading marchers. 0.57
3. SV protestors chant as police watch. 1.03
4. SVs Barrantes addresses crowd. (2 SHOTS) 1.43
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: LIMA, PERU
More than 5,000 demonstrators marched to press for higher wages in Lima on May 31. It was part of a wave of strikes and protests against the government's economic policies. The country is struggling with debts of 13 billion US dollars, and a new cabinet has been appointed to develop an economic strategy. The cabinet has pledged to end the recession which has reduced output by 15 per cent in two years. An estimated three-fifths of the workforce have no full time jobs and those in work have seen their buying power cut by a quarter. The demonstrators, led by the Lord mayor of Lima, Alfonso Barrantes, marched to the Congress building. Barrantes, who is also president of the United Left Party, made a speech attacking the government and claiming the city council; had been denied funds. Office workers, teachers and hospital staff have threatened to stage a walk-out unless a new wage agreement is met. They claim their salaries have failed to keep pace with inflation which stands at 115 per cent. The National Statistics Institute calculates that workers' wage,adjusted after inflation, have fallen by nearly half since 1973, when economist say wages hit an all-time high. So far there has been no indication the government will raise the real level of workers' salaries to spur an industrial recovery.
Source: CHANNEL 9, LIMA