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Dominican workers launch 1-day general strike

Dominican workers launch 1-day general strike

Many businesses closed and transportation was hobbled Monday as Dominican workers launched a one-day general strike to push for wage increases and protest tax hikes and rising inflation.
In many poor neighborhoods of the capital of Santo Domingo, storefronts were shuttered along streets that were blocked by barricades of flaming tires. Government offices, shops and banks in wealthier districts remained open.
Taxi and truck drivers, teachers, non-emergency hospital staff and other workers participated in the strike organized by the Alternative Social Forum, a coalition of labor unions.
Strike organizers are demanding a 35 percent across-the-board raise for workers, a solution to rolling power outages that have long plagued the country, and big reductions in the cost of food, medicine and fuel.
The strike's economic impact was not immediately known. The Caribbean country's major tourist zones were not impacted.
Antonio Marte, leader of the Conatra transport union, said that roughly 95 percent of the syndicate's 70,000 taxi and mini-bus drivers were participating in the strike across the country of nearly 10 million people.
"Transport is paralyzed, the productive activities are reduced to a minimum," said Fidel Santana, spokesman of the Alternative Social Forum.
The union's figures could not be verified, but throughout the capital and other cities, traffic was visibly reduced.
Senen Caba, president of the doctors' union, said that Dominican physicians were united with the strikers, but they decided to keep working in the public hospitals' emergency rooms and intensive care units.
Thousands of national police and military troops were on standby to respond to any unrest.
"The situation of the country is calm," said Police Chief Jose Armando Polanco at about noon.


Updated : 2021-04-14 13:27 GMT+08:00