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Ecuador’s largest trade union call for national general strike against privatisation of energy sector

ECUADOR’S largest trade union has called for a national general strike on January 28 in protest at attacks on workers’ rights and plans to privatise the country’s energy sector.

United Workers’ Front Union (FUT) president Mesias Tatamuez announced industrial action at a press conference on Monday as a protest against the neoliberal reform policies of President Lenin Moreno.

Mr Moreno is due to stand down as president, with an election scheduled for February 7 in which 16 candidates are vying for the post. Polls in December showed leftist candidate Andres Arauz with a 14 point lead over his nearest rival. In a damning indictment of Mr Moreno, his favoured candidate Ximena Pena is polling at a paltry 1.2 per cent of the vote.

Mr Tatamuez warned that Mr Moreno is trying to privatise the oil, communications, energy and mining sectors before he leaves office on May 24.

The FUT has held protests over plans to lower wages of workers and has lodged a complaint with the Constitutional Court over the measures included in Mr Moreno’s so-called Humanitarian Law.

Fears of electoral manipulation have led to calls for the removal of three officials from the National Electoral Council after Social Justice candidate Alvaro Noboa was blocked from standing.

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