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Angolan unions maintain call for general strike

Luanda, Mar 19 (Prensa Latina) The National Union of Angolan Workers - Trade Union Center (UNTA-CS), the General Central of Independent and Free Trade Unions of Angola (CGSILA) and the Angolan Trade Union Force (FSA-CS) maintain the call to a general strike.

The spokesman for the unions, Teixeira Cândido, reiterated that there will be strikes throughout the public administration, and stated that the workers’ representatives have not received any other proposal after the list of their demands were delivered to the Government.

According to the spokesman, the police presence will not be necessary, since there will be no demonstrations in the streets, but rather the workers will stay at home.

However, the secretary for Information and Propaganda of the Political Bureau of the Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), Esteves Hilário, said on Monday at a press conference that 80 percent of the list of demands already has a response and that very little remains to negotiate. “There are concrete proposals on the table and we consider that if good judgment prevails we will not reach the execution of the strike declaration (…). We are confident in the negotiations that are taking place throughout this week before reaching March 20th, and we have faith that we will reach an agreement,” he added.

The workers demand that the national minimum wage be set at 100 thousand kwanzas (around 120 USD), in addition to an increase in salaries in the public service and a decrease in the rate of Labor Income Tax, among other issues.

Hilário commented that the Executive suggests dividing the salary increase until 2027, at a rate of 25 percent annually, taking into account the state of public accounts, instead of a rapid increase that would entail costs that the national treasury cannot bear.

So far there has been no understanding between the parties, which is why the unions maintain the call for a strike starting this Wednesday, to take place in three phases and in a peaceful manner.

This Monday the MPLA Political Bureau urged the union centers to prioritize dialogue to find a consensus, in addition to calling on the population to preserve calm, serenity and for good judgment to prevail.