Trade unionist and students in Bolivia have joined 20 labour leaders in a hunger strike to press demands for improved minimum wage levels.
GV & SVs Street traders selling their wares in San Francisco Square in La Paz (4 shots)
GV & SV Hunger strikes wave from window of Manufacturers' Federation headquarters (2 shots)
SVs INTERIOR Strikes passing time, smoking, reading, preparing bedding (6 shots)
SCU Juan Lechin speaks (SPANISH SOT)
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Background: Trade unionist and students in Bolivia have joined 20 labour leaders in a hunger strike to press demands for improved minimum wage levels. More than 100 sympathisers joined members of the communist-led Workers' Confederation (COB) at the Manufacturers' Federation headquarters in La Paz on January 24. The two-day strike was reported to have snowballed after talks with the government on January 23 failed to meet the COB's demands for an inflation-linked minimum monthly wage of 300 dollars, to replace the current 62-dollar minimum. Inflation was estimated at about 270 per cent last year. COB leaders Juan Lechin said workers in other members of the union's executive committee and district leaders throughout the country were due to join the fast, the COB has agreed that Lechin will not take part. COB leaders warned the strike would widen to more members every hours until agreement was reached. Talks with President Hernan Siles Suazo's government were due to resume later in the day.