Date: Sun, 23 Aug 98 23:28:45 CDT
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Honduras Workers Warn: Improve Conditions or We Strike
Centr-Am News, issue XXIII, week of August 16-22, 1998
On August 17 two workers' Centrals stated they are giving the Honduran government a period of 30 days to decree a general 200 per cent salary increase and to soften the neoliberal economic policies which the government is imposing.
The Social Christian General Workers Central (CGT) and the leftist Unitarian Workers Confederation (CUTH) warned that if the demands are not met, in September workers will occupy bridges, highways and the presidential offices prior to instituting a general strike.
Deputy Secretary of the CGT, Daniel Duron, explained that "Only with strong measures can we change the savage capitalist program in process in Honduras, and so we workers will do it." Israel Salinas, of the CUTH, said if the neoliberal measures are not softened within the given time period, then President Carlos Flores Facusse "will know what workers' power is."
On August 14 the two workers' Centrals carried out three simultaneous protests in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba. Thus far the centrist Workers Confederation has chosen not to join in the actions. Between the three Centrals there is a membership of some 600,000 workers.
The average Honduran worker earns a monthly salary of about US$90. On April 30 President Flores instituted policies to deal with a $200 million deficit and to make payments on a foreign debt of more than $4.2 billion. (El Diario La Prensa from AP, NYC, 8/18/98; Agencia Informativa Amarc-Pulsar, 8/17/98)