The work stoppage by over 30,000 Panama health professionals which started Monday May 14, will continue regardless of threats of wage deductions. say the workers’ leaders.
Ricardo Vasquez of the National Guild of Professional and Technical Services (Conagreprotsa) said that the same threats come each time there is a strike, and called on Social Security administrative officers to not be afraid. "All actions we are taking have legal backing" and health associations such as the National Negotiating Medical Commission, the National Association of Manual Workers, the Association of Employees of the Social Security Fund (SETAs) and Conagreprotsa are involved.
Vasquez said the strike will be accompanied by marches and partial closures of streets. A large traffic jam developed when the Transistmica highway near the Social Security Hospital was closed. Police arrived to remove the striking protesters.
A letter to the Metropolitan Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa outlining the causes of the stoppage was delivered in the afternoon. It asked the church to intervene to to help achieve a dialogue with the administration of the CSS. Among the requests of the unions are a fair reclassification of occupations, the regulation of certain laws by the Ministry of Health, the appointment of human resources perrsonnel and a review of the pay scale, as stipulated in the agreements of 2005 , 2006, 2009 and 2011.