Dominican Republic: medical strike suspended

On Aug. 13 leaders of the Dominican Medical Guild (CMD) and the National Union of Nursing Services (UNASED) announced the suspension of a strike they started on July 29 over salaries. The unionists said the suspension was based on what they considered an agreement that Public Health Secretary Bautista Rojas Gómez would drop his efforts to remove seven health professionals—including Rufino Senén Caba Plasencia, president of the CMD’s National District (Santo Domingo) branch—for alleged involvement in a violent incident during the strike. The job action was the latest development in an 18-month struggle around a demand for a monthly minimum wage of 58,400 pesos ($1,624) for medical professionals.

CMD president Waldo Ariel Suero said the unions were proceeding with a discussion with the government because of their confidence in Catholic educator Monsignor Agripino Núñez Collado, who was named the coordinator of the dialogue. But the first talks, on Aug. 13, ended after four hours with no accord, as Secretart Rojas Gómez refused to back away from his intention to remove five doctors and two nurses accused of assaulting the director of the Francisco Moscoso Puello Hospital. (La Raza, Chicago, Aug. 13 from El Diario-La Prensa, New York; La Nacion Dominicana, Aug. 13)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Aug. 25

See our last post on the struggle in the Dominican Republic.