Thursday, December 7, 2023

Oaxaca teachers declare strike action, erect blockades

Michoacán is not the only state where teachers have walked off the job to protest against the government.

More than 1,000 Oaxaca teachers affiliated with Section 22 of the CNTE union began an indefinite strike yesterday, erecting blockades in the capital that snarled traffic on two busy streets and staging protests in other parts of the state.

The CNTE members are demanding a meeting with the Oaxaca State Institute of Education (IEEPO) to discuss issues including job security, the recognition and employment of physical education teachers and the payment of bonuses and benefits they say they are owed.

Teachers said their protest was also an expression of solidarity with their counterparts in Michoacán, where CNTE union members have maintained rail blockades for more than two weeks.

Yesterday’s protests were led by teacher-trainers from the 11 teachers’ colleges in the state, media group NVI Noticias reported.

To block traffic, teachers commandeered buses bound for the Oaxaca bus terminal and parked them across Avenida Juárez and Calzada Niños Héroes de Chapultepec, the newspaper Reforma said.

Police sources said the latter street was blocked between 1:30pm and 6:00pm. On Avenida Juárez, a sit-in was staged in front of government offices.

Teachers also protested at the IEEPO cashiers’ officers in Oaxaca City for two and a half hours.

“They owe us bonuses dating back to 2015 and other work benefits . . .” said Wilfrido López, an instructor at the Tlacochahuaya Bilingual Teachers’ College.

However, IEEPO chief Francisco Ángel Villareal denied that any money was owed to the teachers, charging that the protests related only to administrative matters that the government is already attending to.

Lucila Mendoza, an official in Section 22 of the CNTE union, said that since the previous federal government’s educational reform was implemented, state education authorities have discontinued physical education programs in many schools, leaving at least 4,000 teachers with reduced hours.

Strikes, blockades and even vandalism have been a trademark of Oaxaca teachers’ strikes for many years.

Source: NVI Noticias (sp), Reforma (sp) 

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