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Strike by public servants continues in Angola

Luanda, Mar 21 (Prensa Latina) The strike of public officials in Angola continues in its second day after a start marked by a 95-percent support, according to unions.

The organizations reported that people from all over the country, mainly from the educational, health and justice sectors, joined the strike in response to the call to stay at home corresponding to the first phase of the strike.

The spokesperson for the National Union of Angolan Workers–Trade Union Confederation, the General Central of Free and Independent Trade Unions of Angola, and the Força Sindical, Teixeira Cândido, told the OPaís newspaper that there were arrests in Bengo and Huambo during the first day.

The unions issued a statement condemning the attitude of the National Police agents, which violates the constitutional right to strike, and called for them to remain firm in this fight for “the rescue of the workers’ social dignity.” They also demanded the unconditional release of the detained trade unionists and the end of coercion, otherwise they will start public demonstrations throughout the country.

The official of the Ministry of Public Administrations, Labor and Social Security Alonso Sicato assured in statements to Angola Public Television that 80 percent of the demands of the union centers have already been negotiated and only 20 percent remains, which includes the increase in the national minimum wage, one of the main reasons for the strike.

He commented that there has been progress in the points related to participation in social coordination mechanisms, regarding the improvement in some social benefits. He also pointed out that there is a proposal to fragment the salary increase, respecting the payment capacity of companies and differentiating them into large, medium and small, in addition to a plan for progressive improvements over the next four years.

However, the unions maintain that after the failed negotiations on March 13th, the Government has not reconvened the workers’ representatives to try to reach an agreement and avoid the strike.