“We want to pay now!” the protesters shouted. and “Mr. Minister, no more sarcasm!” Some roads near the hospitals were closed for several minutes, as shown in the photos published by the unions.
“We are protesting because they are not complying with the agreement that (authorities) signed on June 11 and they want to pay in installments,” union leader Mauro Zambrano told Agência Efe.
Zambrano explained that the average health worker earns between $3 and $5, depending on the job, and that signing the agreement with the Department of Health will earn more than $30.
He criticized “this amount is not enough, but they have to fulfill their obligations. They cannot continue to make fun of people.”
At the Concepción Palacios maternity hospital in downtown Caracas, Marisol Carreño told reporters that they had not stopped working since the beginning of the pandemic and emphasized that they wanted a salary equivalent to that of a deputy in the National Assembly. “We cannot continue to be humiliated on this salary,” he shouted.
The protest was repeated in other regions of Venezuela. In Aragua, sector employees demonstrated at the Central Hospital in Maracay. Most of the demonstrators were women and displayed messages with phrases such as “decent pay according to the reality we live in.”
The protesters plan, on Wednesday, to demonstrate in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Health in downtown Caracas, and on Thursday may announce “crossing arms”, a type of strike during part of the day used by health care workers in the 1990s.
Moreover, since the beginning of the pandemic, health workers have decried the precarious conditions in which they face the coronavirus. The total number of sector workers who have died in the country due to Covid-19 has reached 683, according to the latest report by the NGO Médicos Unidos Venezuela.