Stop massive lay-offs and precarious contracts in Peru!
Workers in Peru are suffering an appalling attack by the neoliberal government. CAS workers – workers hired under a precarious contract named Service Administration Contract (Contrato de Servicios Administrativos, CAS) – are being laid off in large numbers at the behest of the government led by new Peruvian president Martin Vizcarra.
He has been helped by the infamous right-wing ‘Fujimorista’ party, nicknamed after Alberto Fujimori, the former president who had to leave the country under accusations of corruption and brutal attacks and killings of working class people, activists and trade unionists.
The CAS targets workers in the public sector education system, EsSalud (the Peruvian national health service) and other workplaces. It means that these workers are hired on temporary contracts (sometimes for only three months), without access to career progression, bonuses, overtime, holiday pay, workers compensation, etc.
They are paid significantly less than workers integrated into the public sector – sometimes only half the pay for the same job. For example, a doctor employed under the CAS for EsSalude by the health ministry receives around Soles1,500-1,700 (£345-390) while a doctor hired under a stable contract earns around S3,000 (£690).
Workers hired under the CAS law encompass various sectors and positions: from doctors, nurses and healthcare workers to teachers, learning support assistants, cleaners, and others.
More than 275,000 public sector workers have been hired under this contract, representing almost a quarter of the workforce. The fact that their contracts have not been renewed – which, in practice, means they have been fired – is a clear attack on the Peruvian working class, and a pushback by the right wing government on the earlier victories won by these workers.
After intense mobilisations by CAS workers, especially in EsSalude and in schools, Congress was forced to concede. It passed a law eliminating CAS contracts and integrating workers into the public sector. However, this was negated by the neoliberal government with massive lay-offs of CAS workers – a clear attempt to divide and undermine the movement.
The Fujimorists, which at one point appeared to support the elimination of CAS as a populist tactic, are now trying to reverse the decision and archive the law.
The right-wing claims that there is not enough money in the public coffers, while ex-presidents and congressmen are under scrutiny and investigation for corruption and misuse of public funds!
But the working class has responded. Teachers under the CAS regime called a nationwide strike on Thursday 26 (28??) June, and a rank-and-file movement in EsSalude, named ‘CAS nunca mas’ (CAS never again), is organising a fight against the arbitrary lay-offs and precarious contracts and for an increase in the EsSalude budget.
We need to support the Peruvian working class in their fight for working rights and decent living standards.
* No to massive layoffs. Safe contracts to CAS workers – Integrate them into the public sector.
* Stop the casualisation and underfunding of the public service and health sector.
* Stop the attacks on the Peruvian workers!
Direct your protests to :