In Peru, the leaders of country's most powerful Trade Union, the communist-led General Confederation of Peruvian Workers (CGTPT) called off a planned three-day general strike on Wednesday (10 January) after just one day of industrial action.
In Peru, the leaders of country's most powerful Trade Union, the communist-led General Confederation of Peruvian Workers (CGTPT) called off a planned three-day general strike on Wednesday (10 January) after just one day of industrial action. Many workers ignored the strike call which had been organised in protest against the military government's economic policies. Drastic security measures, widespread arrest and the government's declaration of a state of emergency, including an order that rioters would be shot on sight, weakened support for the stoppage.
SYNOPSIS: Most of the factories in the capital Lima, were closed on the first day on the strike, but many banks and shops were operating normally. Peru's vital mining industry which accounts for sixty percent of the country's export earnings was only slightly affected. The stoppage was the third general strike against the government of General Francisco Morales Bermudez.
The city's streets were relatively quiet. Attempt to built a barricade across this road were soon halted by a military patrol. While troops toured the streets, the entire shanty-down area was sealed off by tanks. During previous general strikes in 1977 and 1978, more than sixty people died in clashed with soldiers and police.
Although some of peru's political parties opposed the strike, there were reports that the lack of support for the planned stoppage was at least partially due to fears of violence and reprisals. After the last general strike about five thousand workers were dismissed. Fifty-six leading trade unionists were arrested before Tuesday's (9 January) stoppage began. During the past three years, Peru has moved further into economic crisis. Inflation last year was seventy-five percent and real wages have dropped more than forty percent since 1976. Prices of petrol and rise were raised by twenty percent a few days before the stroke began.
Union leaders, announcing the end of the strike on Wednesday (10 January), said they called off the stoppage so that workers could pursue their demands for better condition, when the country was not under a state of emergency. They urged the government to release detained union leaders and to restore constitutional guarantees suspended under the imposition to the state of emergency.