Retired and active Venezuelan civil servants marched Tuesday through the streets of Caracas to protest against the Government's policies that are starving us to death. They were greeted by pickets and blockades by the Bolivarian National Police (PNB) and the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB).
The demonstrators demanded President Nicolás Maduro repealed the so-called malandro instructions of the National Budget Office (Onapre), which they claim rips off the salaries of the working class.
With banners reading we demand fair salaries and pensions, teachers, university students, healthcare workers, and pensioners gathered near the Ministry of Education chanting Maduro and the Onapre are starving us, as they demanded better living conditions.
They are starving us to death, they are not giving us a living wage, while you with your people from the National Assembly, get 5 thousand dollars each, nurse José Cádiz told reporters showing his broken shoes in his hands in the middle of the protest. Cádiz affirmed that ”the health worker deserves a living wage, the teacher who educated us deserves a living wage, the ordinary Venezuelan deserves a living wage and not to walk around like this (with broken shoes).
Eduardo Sánchez, head of the Federation of University Workers, denounced that these bad instructions are taking away the salaries of the workers. He added that the Onapre is not only taking away the salary, social
benefits, vacation bonuses, etc., but also third-party funds.
The protest is against the Onapre instructions, it is against the positions that the union bureaucracy has been assuming, he underlined. He warned that workers who are detained for defending their rights were reportedly forced to sign a collective contract that does not comply with what is stipulated in the Law. It is nothing more than blackmail, he went on.
Sánchez also spoke against comrades imprisoned simply because it is convenient for the government.
Professor Argelia Castillo of the National Union of University Professionals Association warned that the workers would remain in the streets until the unconstitutional and illegal Onapre instructions” are repealed. The Onapre instructions issued in March reduce the real income of public employees between 40% and 70%.
Protests went by peacefully Tuesday, but the organizers announced they would return to the streets on September 4.