The Central General of Free and Independent Trade Unions of Angola (CGSILA) is calling for members employed by the Public Water Company of Luanda (EPAL) to launch an indefinite strike beginning Thursday, March 28. The EPAL claims that the strike is illegal as the union failed to have at least two thirds of the 1750 workers vote in favor of the action. EPAL officials said that the water supply to Luanda will not be affected in the event of a work stoppage. As of Wednesday, March 27, the CGSILA has not announced any related demonstrations, but protests remain possible on Thursday in Luanda. Heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions should be expected around all protest sites.
The CGSILA is demanding higher wages and improved working conditions for EPAL workers. However, the other main EPAL union, the National Union of Angolan Workers-Union Confederation (UNTA-CS), has already reached a salary agreement with the company. EPAL administrators claim that CGSILA has been unwilling to negotiate on less than a 200 percent wage increase, which is significantly higher than the company can afford.
Individuals in Luanda are advised to monitor developments to the situation and avoid all protests as a precaution.
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