Patients line up outside a Oaxaca hospital affected by strike. Patients line up outside a Oaxaca hospital affected by strike.

Health workers strike over unpaid salaries

Services were affected in three states where over 14,000 people walked off the job

Some 14,500 health-care workers in three states —  doctors, nurses, paramedics and administrative staff — went on strike this week to demand the payment of overdue salaries and bonuses.

Workers in Tabasco struck for eight hours but have since returned to work following the negotiation of a settlement.

Workers in Oaxaca, Tabasco, and Michoacán were protesting a delay in salary payments that were due on Monday, and many claim they are owed bonuses as well.

In Oaxaca workers struck after they were advised that their January salaries would be paid some time in February. The experience is not a new one. There were similar delays under the previous administration of Gabino Cué Monteagudo.

The strike affects at least 14 hospitals and 120 health centers in the state.

In Michoacán, health workers say they are still owed half their aguinaldo, or year-end bonus, as well as their January 15 paychecks. Operations in at least nine hospitals and seven health centers remain paralyzed in several municipalities across the state.

A health workers’ union leader declared that the state requires 80 million pesos (close to US $4.3 million) to pay its salary and bonus obligations.

In Tabasco, meanwhile, an agreement was reached with the 7,000 federal health care workers over their salary and bonus payments, ending a shutdown of the state’s principal hospitals and 45 health units.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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