A wave of labor conflicts flared in Bolivia pn Tuesday, posing a fresh challenge to the leftist government of President Evo Morales less than three months since it took office.
Public health workers started their own two-day national strike Tuesday to press demands for a 10 percent wage increase. The government has pledged a 7 percent rise.
In the central province of Cochabamba, home to the country’s troubled airline Lloyd Aereo Boliviano, local government workers walked out in sympathy with employees of the debt-crippled flagship carrier.
A Morales spokesman said Tuesday the government was trying to solve the conflicts that erupted last week with a nationwide transport strike by bus drivers opposed to proposed taxes.
The Morales government, elected on vows to nationalize the gas-rich country’s natural resources, has rejected nationalizing the airline, saying that would involve assuming company debts of about $170 million.
Several trade unions have announced further action for the coming days in the unstable South American country, where two governments were toppled between 2003 and 2005 amid mass social protests.