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Ecuador: Hundreds of protesters take to Quito streets for workers’ rights

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Hundreds of protesters gathered and marched through the streets of Quito on Thursday against government policies regarding workers’ rights.

Some demonstrators were seen re-enacting scenes from the 2019 uprising.

Law enforcement officers were guarding the Central Bank and National Assembly, with barbed wire set up along the entrance of the latter.

“What we demand from the government is to stop the anti-popular measures they are executing, for example, the ‘humanitarian law’ that allows businessmen to decide freely about their employees’ salaries, their working hours and fire them without paying settlements,” explained one of the protesters.

The Humanitarian Support Law was enacted to address the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and includes a provision on the termination of employment relationships “due to unforeseeable circumstances or a force majeure.”

*SOUNDBITES*

SOT, Maria Hernandez, Protester (Spanish): “They are scammers. These businessmen are miserable. And then, they try to point to us saying we are the violent ones. We will continue to demand, along with the labourers, along with the street sellers, the peasants.”

SOT, Carlos Realpe, Protester (Spanish): “Specifically, what we demand the government is to stop the anti-popular measures they are executing, for example, the ‘humanitarian law’ that allows businessmen to decide freely about their employees’ salaries, their working hours and fire them without paying settlements.”

SOT, Carlos Realpe, Protester (Spanish): “We acknowledge that, because we live a fight between social classes, the government will not listen easily. A rebellion as big as October 2019’s must rise so – the same way we got rid of the 883 decree – we claim the rights that have been taken away from us.”

Video ID: 20201030-005

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