President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday urged Colombians not to be manipulated and used in strikes that have been occurring throughout the country.
“There is a deliberate action to promote strikes of all kinds, and they’re converging different interests to make this happen,” said Santos Monday from a presidential retreat in Hacienda Hatogrande.
He also said, “Watch out, don’t let them manipulate you, don’t let them use you.”
Santos’ comments come at a time of significant unrest in many sectors of Colombia’s workforce.
In the aftermath of an 11-day strike of over 90,000 coffee growers that shut down transportation around the country, the government of Juan Manuel Santos has promised to pay the industry $443 million in subsidies.
In addition, a 32-day strike at Colombia’s largest coalmine, Cerrejon, was ended on Monday, which reportedly cost the mining sector $96 million.
Earlier Tuesday, Colombia’s rice growers and several departmental government officials gave the Santos government an ultimatum, threatening to strike on March 19 if their demands were not answered.
On top of all that, there is also a small strike of 600 workers in the sugarcane sector and the growing possibility of a strike of over 300,000 teachers across the nation.
Seemingly on his heels, the President is urging citizens to not get swept up in the mobilization frenzy that has hit so many sectors around the country.
In addition to his warnings, Santos applauded the agreement reached by striking coal miners and Cerrejon saying, “I would like to celebrate the agreement reached in the Cerrejon between the union and the company. A demonstration that respects the legitimate rights of workers to enter into a strike.”
The head of state warned that, “In these sectors [experiencing worker unrest] we are having a direct dialogue, but at the same time we must call attention. Effectively, there is a deliberate action to stimulate shutdowns across the country.”
- Presidente Santos pide no jejarse manipular ni utilizar en los paros (Presidencia de la republica)
- Santos pide a colombianos no jejarse manipular ni utilizar en los paros (Radio Santa fe)
- Fecode anuncia paro si el Gobierno no escucha peticiones de los educadores (RCN)