Thousands of workers at Colombia’s national coroner’s office went on strike Monday to demand higher wages from the national government, claiming they were not taken into account after a nation-wide judicial strike succeeded in raising wages for the juridical branch earlier this year.
On Monday, workers at the Coroner’s Office ceased activities in several major Colombian cities, including Bogota, Medellin and Cali. Strikers said all the local offices would join the strike in the coming days, arguing the employees had only received a raise of 4,7%, corresponding to the consumer price index (CPI), while the juridical branch had received 26% in addition to CPI.
Workers said human corpses would only be accepted in exceptional cases during the strike, such as evidence of sexual abuse or high levels of alcohol in the blood. Meanwhile, Carlos Eduardo Valdes, the director of the coroner’s office, said an emergency plan was active to facilitate a continuation of activities despite the strike.
“[There are] alternative plans so that there are no pathological or clinical problems in Colombian settlement[s],” Valdes said.
On Tuesday morning, government and coroner’s office representatives sat down to discuss precedents to end the strike.
Strike representatives said some workers in the Coffee region and in Cali had received threats through e-mail.