On July 27, the day before Peru’s independence day celebrations, the country’s General Workers’ Confederation (CGTP) and the activist network #Tomalacalle (Take the Streets) marched through the center of Lima, seizing avenues in defiance of riot police backed up with armored vehicles, to protest the new Civil Service Law passed earlier this month. CGTP secretary-general Mario Huamán pledges to launch a general civil strike in August to demand repeal of the law. The bill’s passage in early July saw angry protests in cities throughout the country, with tear-gas used to disperse demonstrators in Arequipa and elsewhere. The law, introduced to Congress by President Ollanta Humala, limits collective bargaining for public-sector employees to work conditions and not wages, yet restricts the right to strike to only after “mediation or negotiation mechanisms have been exhausted.” It also imposes strict evaluation measures the CGTP says threaten job security. Lawmaker Verónika Mendoza (Popular Action/Broad Front) is preparing a measure to have the law annulled as unconstitutional. (La Republica, July 28; Peru21, July 27; El Comercio, July 19; El Comercio, July 4; La Republica, July 3)
Photos and video of the Lima march at La Republica, July 28
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