From the TUC

Protest at Ecuador’s savage public sector dismissals

30 Dec 2011, By

As you contemplate further campaigning against the cuts and redundancies in Britain’s public sector, spare a thought for public sector workers facing even more savage cuts in other countries. Several thousand public servants, mainly in the health and public administration sectors, were recently arbitrarily dismissed leaving Ecuador’s health and central administration services in disarray. Many of those dismissed are members of sister organisations of Britain’s public sector unions. You can add your e-protest to the campaign, or send a formal protest letter in Spanish.

On 28 October, Ecuador’s Minister for Labour Relations ordered the dismissal of more than 3,000 workers, mainly employed in the public administration and health services. Police and security forces were sent in to ensure the removal of the sacked workers, using physical violence in some cases. The Government has also launched a smear campaign against public employees to try to justify the mass dismissals, calling them “corrupt and inept”, but not one single charge has been laid against any of the dismissed employees nor has any process been followed to dispute their competence or efficiency at work. Ecuador’s public services are already suffering the impact of the dismissals, with hospitals, in particular, being seriously affected and putting the health of communities at risk. Further dismissals are planned and it is feared that up to 150,000 public sector workers may lose their jobs.

Public Services International (PSI) and its affiliates in Ecuador are calling on the Government of Ecuador to refrain from issuing further dismissal notices under the guise of “compulsory resignations”, to immediately reinstate all the public employees dismissed so far under this process, and to comply with its obligations under international labour standards and as a member of the International Labour Organisation.

In November, the ITUC issued a highly critical report of abuses of workers’ rights in Ecuador, although last year it strongly opposed the unsuccessful coup against the elected President Rafael Correa.