Workers Front plans protest against subsidy cuts, criticizes transport unions for making ‘secret’ deal

Jun 20, 2024 | 0 comments

The United Works Front (FUT) will go ahead with its July 4 protests against the elimination of gasoline subsidies despite the agreement announced Tuesday between the transport unions and the government. “We will take to the streets to voice our rejection of the government’s decision and with all its neoliberal policies,” said FUT President Jose Villavicencio. “We are inviting all other labor and social movements to join us.

United Works Front leadership held a press conference Tuesday to announce they will continue with their July 4 protest against elimination of gasoline subsidies.

Among the groups FUT hopes will join its mobilization are the National Union of Educators (UNE) and several indigenous organizations, including the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie).

Villavicencio said he was disappointed at the “last minute secret deal” made by the National Federation of Transport Operators and two other unions. “They obviously put self-interests ahead of the interests of Ecuadorians and cannot be counted on, but this will not deter our rejection of Noboa’s campaign against the people. We opposed the policies of Correa, Moreno and Lasso and today we oppose the policies of the new regime,” he said.

UNE is planning its own protests and will decide next week if it will join FUT on July 4. “We are in the process of formulating our opposition plan, but we pledge to work hand-in-hand with our brothers and sisters in all social movements opposing the reduction of subsidies,” said UNE President Andrés Quishpe.

Like FUT’s Villavicencio, Quishpe said he was disappointed that the transpiration unions “caved in” to the government.

Conaie President Leonidas Iza said indigenous organizations have yet to decide their response. “We are holding an assembly to define our next action and will announce it at that time,” he said. “We don’t rule out a mobilization similar to the one in June 2022, but this will be up to Conaie and Pachakutik membership.”

In a Wednesday radio interview in Quito, former Conaie governing council member Nivaldo Capac said the indigenous movement was united in its opposition to subsidy reductions but rejected mobilizations similar to those in 2019 and 2022. “Those events hurt the indigenous people more than they hurt the government,” he said. “This time, we need to connect with all Ecuadorians in a forceful but peaceful manner.”

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