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Second phase of general strike in Angola comes to an end

Luanda, Apr 30 (Prensa Latina) The second phase of the general strike called by the Angolan union centers on April 22nd, in demand of salary increases and tax reductions, reached its last day today.

Although a presidential decree was announced on April 19th establishing a supplementary remuneration of 30 thousand kwanzas (around 36 dollars) effective starting on June 1st for officials and administrative agents of the public service regime, it did not stop the strike.

The National Union of Angolan Workers, the General Central of Free and Independent Trade Unions of Angola, and the Força Sindical expressed that they felt “perplexed” by the presidential decree, declared that these decisions do not respond to their concerns, and pointed out that it is not just a 100 percent increase in Public Administration salaries, but also in the minimum wage, which currently varies between 32,181.15 kwanzas (around 39 USD) and 100,000 kwanzas (around 120 USD).

Another important point is the reduction of tax pressure, “which has been a real lion against the meager income of workers,” they said.

The union centers considered that the Executive adopted a unilateral position of determining what the government should or should not offer to workers, regardless of the cost of living and the level of inflation, and added that this attitude “reflects indifference to real concerns of the workers”. The unions announced that once this stage is concluded, if no agreement is reached, there will be a new strike from June 3 to 14.

A consensus seems far away because although both parties express their willingness to dialogue, the Government insists that the State’s finances do not allow a 100 percent salary increase in civil services.