The headline from todays Prensa Latina makes it seems as though the unions had a lot of success in shutting down the country yesterday when they called for a nationwide strike. According to Paul McBride, who rode out the turmoil or lack of it in the city, "there was not much going on". As far as how things went in our neck of the woods, we would not have known about it if not for the papers. Business as usual.
The story from Prensa Latina has a number of factual errors and is trying to sensationalize the deaths of two workers, supposedly at the hands of foreigners building projects for foreigners. This is what we should expect from Cuba's communist news source. There is a lot more to the story of the unions which Paul will be reporting on later this week.
Panama, Aug 21 (Prensa Latina) Morning found hundreds of jobs paralyzed in Panama with over 40 thousand construction workers joining a national strike in protest of the murder of workers at the doors of two foreign enterprises.
The usual noise of cement mixers, material elevators, trucks and daily activity in many high buildings of that capital gave way to an absolute silence that may let neighbors sleep longer.
The Single Construction Trade Union and Similar (SUNTRACS) said that about 750 projects of the country are shut down.
Monday"s burial of Osvaldo Lorenzo and Luiyi Arguelles became a combative march for justice through several avenues up to the cemetery.
An employee from Brazilian enterprise Norberto Odebrecht (constructing Panama-Colon freeway) shot Lorenzo in the chest when he was protesting against the dismissal of 60 workers who were rejected for being members of SUNTRACS Arguelles was shot at close-range by a policeman and died of a heart perforation on Viveros Island where the Colombian enterprise is building a luxurious tourist complex.
While paying last respects to the workers, General Secretary Genaro Lopez said that in its 35 years of existence the union had never been so threatened