This morning ASTTEL and ASTA began their nationwide strike at the government telecommunications company in El Salvador demanding the rehiring of fired workers and for consideration of the union-drafted proposal for modernization rather than privatization of ANTEL, the National Telecommunications of El Salvador. (For details see CISPES Action Alert from Friday 9/8.)
The National Civilian (PNC) are present in all of ANTEL's work sites and are checking worker identification. Union members are not allowed to enter the buildings. The PNC is threatening to use teargas against striking workers and are said to be using other psychological terror tactics so that workers will not support the strike.
Since March, protests by workers, ex-combatants and market vendors have been routinely met with repression. Journalists show up to demonstrations with their own gas masks, in anticipation of police violence.
Calderon Sol has called on workers to seek solutions through dialogue and negotiation but PNC riot police frequently gas and beat protesters first, asking questions later. Furthermore recent negotiations between the Ministry of Public Works and the union there, ATMOP, were halted by a presidential order.
Yesterday, Sunday, public unions met at the UNTS office and decided not to join the ASTTEL strike this week so pressure should remain focused on Calderon Sol and Juan Jose Domenech. Add Demilitarization of all ANTEL worksites to the demands that you are pressuring around.