Government ends labor talks after union announces October 30 Quito protest

Oct 19, 2019 | 25 comments

The government announced Friday that it has ended talks with Ecuador’s largest labor union after the union announced plans for an October 30 protest in Quito. In the same announcement, the government said it was continuing its work with Ecuador’s indigenous movement based on Sunday’s agreement that ended 12 days of protests.

Marchers carry the Unitary Front of Workers in a 2015 anti-government protest.

“The voice of labor in Ecuador will not be silenced,” said Messiah Tatamuez, president of the Unitary Front of Workers (FUT). “We have been disrespected first by the government of Rafael Correa and now by Lenin Moreno and it is time that we make our positions known.”

FUT was angered at proposals by the Moreno government to relax some employer requirements and to make it easier for employers to hire workers on a contract basis. The proposals are currently being considered by the National Assembly. FUT calls the proposals “an unconstitutional regression of rights.”

Moreno’s private secretary, Juan Sebastián Roldán, said the government could not continue talks with FUT under the threat of protest. “We have decided to end the dialog and will only return to it if the union calls off its mobilization,” Roldán said. “Discussions are not possible under these conditions.”

FUT says it will be joined in the October 30 protest by United Workers’ Central (CUT) and two teachers unions.

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