Date: Sat, 30 Mar 1996 07:59:52 -0600
> S * IN ACTIV-L
> print 09544
Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit
No End Soon to Court Workers Strike
Cerigua Weekly Briefs, No.13, 27 March 1996
Guatemala City, March 27. A strike by some 2,000 court workers is entering its tenth day. Strikers have been threatened with criminal charges and dismissal.
The workers, members of the Justice System Workers Union (STOJ), are demanding the 15 to 34% wage increase recommended by a labor mediation court, but the Supreme Court, the workers' employers, say it cannot afford the raise.
CSJ judges also declared the strike illegal. And they were backed by Labor Minister Arnoldo Ortiz Moscoso, who said the correct legal procedure was not followed in calling the strike. Attorney General Ramses Cuestas Gomez said he considers the strike a crime, and ordered his office to begin proceedings against strike leaders.
The March 20 eviction of some 200 strikers who had surrounded the court building resulted in a violent confrontation between police and the strikers. Two strikers were injured in the eviction.
The workers have received support from several sectors. A motion presented in Congress by the New Guatemala Democratic Front (FDNG) to demand an explanation for police actions and lend moral support to the strikers was rejected by the majority National Advancement Party (PAN).
And more than 200 university students protested in front of the court building to demand that CSJ judges negotiate with workers. The Public Ministry and Comptroller General workers unions also support the strike.
For information not related to subscriptions, please contact our Guatemala office:
Cerigua English Section; 9a Calle "A" 3-49, Zona 1; Ciudad de Guatemala;