Uruguay is going through a 24-hour strike called by the labour union Pit-Cnt to demand better wages and working conditions, to defend national development and state-run companies and, most importantly, to say “yes” to the repeal through a referendum 135 articles of the Law of Urgent Consideration (LUC).
Pit-Cnt leader Fernando Pereira explained the strike was an answer to the fall in real wages, the increase in poverty and to protest against measures not taken against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Construction unions, public, industrial, fishing, meat, metal and education workers had pledged to join the strike, together with health care and transport workers.
Protesters are expected to march before Congress in Montevideo on Wednesday.
Pit-Cnt Secretary-General Marcelo Abdala said it would be the largest and most forceful mobilization of the last decade, a great demonstration of the unity of the popular field.
Meanwhile, a recent Cifra survey has shown that if the referendum is held, 44% of Uruguayans would vote to maintain the LUC and 34% to repeal the 135 articles.
More than three out of every four citizens already have a position on what they would vote if the referendum is held, said the Cifra report, which added that only 22% of those consulted were still not sure of what they would vote for,
Although a date has not yet been set for the referendum against various articles of the Law of Urgent Consideration, more than three out of every four citizens already have a position,” Cifra wrote.
The study added that “positions facing the LUC remain very stable over time, and the almost confirmation that the referendum will actually take place has not changed the initial attitudes.
In Montevideo today the difference between the majority who want to keep [the LUC] and the minority who want to repeal it is 9 points,” Cifra explained. But elsewhere, “the difference between those who want to keep it and those who want it repealed has dropped ... is now 11 points, the study also pointed out.
Wednesday's strike will take place from 10 am to 6 pm under the slogan With Artigas, by the great national majorities, 'may the most unhappy be the most privileged'.
There will be no classes in schools and high schools, both public and private, but transport will run normally despite the union adhering to the demands.
Health care services will be affected and COVID-19 vaccination centres will be operating on an emergency schedule