On 15 September, trade union, student, women’s and trade union organisations, among others, mobilised in various provinces of the country in response to the government’s announcements of labour reforms and economic policies. On the coast, the protests were centred in the provinces of Los Ríos and Guayas, where agricultural producers maintain their demand for a fair price for the sale of their products. The police tried to disperse the road blockades, using tear gas canisters.

By Verónica Calvopiña

There were also sit-ins by heavy transport in the canton of Daule and by taxi drivers in the city of Riobamba. The transporters, as well as the agricultural producers, reject the monthly increase in the cost of diesel and super gasoline. This constant rise, they claim, is detrimental to them.

In the afternoon in Quito, students, workers and other groups held a demonstration along Avenida 10 de Agosto and in the historic centre. The streets around the Plaza Grande, the seat of the central government, were fenced off with a large police presence as has been characteristic in recent years. Electrical workers present at the march spoke out against the announcements of privatisation of public companies.

Isabel Vargas, President of the National Union of Educators, UNE, said that the march rejected, among other things, the announcement of a new Labour Code. According to Vargas, it is not possible for there to be two labour codes, without intending to violate workers’ rights. Ángel Sánchez, leader of the Frente Unitario de Trabajadores, FUT, indicated that they are willing to discuss a new code, with the participation and debate of the workers. He also spoke out against mining and oil concessions. Mesías Tatamuez, president of CEDOCUT, called on the government to maintain an economic policy that does not follow the guidelines of the International Monetary Fund.

In Cuenca, public officials marched through the city with banners and slogans. The march reached the governor’s office, where union leaders spoke of the repeal of the humanitarian law, claiming that this law allowed the dismissal of workers. On the other hand, they demanded the repeal of the decree that raises the cost of fuel, and joined in the rejection of new labour policies. Another city where mobilisations took place was Guayaquil. There, social collectives rallied to reject economic policies.

The mobilisation in Quito was accompanied by several CONAIE leaders and Pachakutik assembly members. Leónidas Iza, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, CONAIE, announced that, in the coming days, a popular assembly will be held, made up of various sectors, and more actions will be announced to commemorate the two years since the October 2019 protests.

The original article can be found here