Michoacan teachers block railways as protests over pay continue

Protests continue along the rail tracks in Michoacan state as teachers demand 5 billion pesos (US$263 million) in funding before returning to classrooms.

The teachers have vowed to continue with the protests until payment is made, the amount of which the protesters argue is owed to teachers.

According to local news reports, there are now seven blockades on railroads in Lázaro Cárdenas, Maravatío, Pátzcuaro, Caltzontzin, Nueva Italia, Yurécuaro and La Piedad. It is nearly two weeks since the National Union of Education Workers staged the blockades, which is reportedly leading to mass disruption across the state and contributing to economic losses.

Although discussions have been held between government officials and leaders of the teachers union, an offer of 1 billion pesos (US$52.6 million) payout was quickly declined by the protesters. According to the teachers, the amount would have covered just one month of a much larger amount that is owed in wages, according to Mexico News Daily. Further demands for benefits, bonuses, stipends and retirement pay mean the protests are set to continue.

“The work stoppage will be maintained . . . We call for [the government’s offer] to be strengthened . . .” the report stated.

Over the weekend, the Governor of Michoacan and the Secretary of Communications and Transport took to social media to further debate the topic. Whilst urging for a solution in a bid to lessen the national impacts of the protests, the Governor in response reminded the federal representative that it’s his sector of work to intervene.

“It’s a local problem, it’s Silvano Aureoles’ problem, Silvano Aureoles has to solve it, he wants to throw the ball to the federal government, but it’s a state issue, it’s a state debt ,” a spokesperson was quoted by Animal Politico.

The protests continue to affect areas such as the manufacturing sector, whilst at the same time authorities rally to resolve the fuel shortages across Michoacan and other states.

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