Hundreds of bank workers in five cities in Colombia are staging a hunger strike in Roman Catholic churches, to reinforce their claims for wage increases.
GV PAN Main street of Bogota.
GV Entrance side door of church.
SV Banner advertising strike.
GV INT PAN Strikers seated in church.
SV Helpers preparing drinks.
SV Red Cross testing blood pressure.
SV PAN Banners. (2 shots)
SV AND GV Strikers lying on floor. (3 shots)
Initials VS 16.55 VS 17.00
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Hundreds of bank workers in five cities in Colombia are staging a hunger strike in Roman Catholic churches, to reinforce their claims for wage increases.
The strike began last Thursday (3 May) when the strikers accused the government of Liberal President, Alfonso Lopez Michelsen of violating human rights.
They claim the state of siege laws in force throughout Colombia prevent them from meeting freely to plan a campaign for wage increases.
Since then, the strikers have moved into Roman Catholic churches and the strike has spread from the capital, Bogota, to five other cities.
The hunger sit-ins began at Bogota's Spanish colonial church of San Francisco. Some of the strikers have been taken to hospital from the 450-year-old church and many are weakening after their long fast.
Religious services in the Franciscan church have been suspended for the first time in its history after police cordoned off the area to prevent people from entering.
Bank workers from several cities had planned to march on the capital, but police stopped some of the marchers. Preparations are reported to be underway for talks with the Labour Minister.