Monday, January 19, 2009

Doctors End Strike

Primary care doctors at the two largest hospitals in Guatemala restored service today after a work stoppage over labor contracts. The two hospitals affected were the Roosevelt Hospital and San Juan de Dios Hospital where more than 300 health care workers came to work but refused to work for the past two days. Negotiations took place between worker leaders and the Ministry of Health, and mediated by personnel from the justice system. Agreement was reached to give labor contracts to the 360 workers who have been working without one and to begin payment of salaries under the new contract in February. The work stoppage was canceled immediately once the agreement was reached and services returned to normal.

The labor dispute began when the Ministry of Health introduced a new system of labor contracts designed to facilitate the specialization of resident doctors but admitted that the new system turned out to be in violation of laws regulating workers rights such as social security, workers liability, and others.

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