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The Federation of Organisations of Teachers in Suriname (Fols) is calling on its members to stay home today to force the government to deal with what it claims is the runaway exchange rates for the US dollar and the Euro resulting in increased prices for goods and services.
The Fols, which groups several trade unions including the Catholic Teachers Union, the Christian Teachers Union Brotherhood, the Surinamese Public Teachers Union, the Islamic Teachers Union and Union of Teachers in Technical Education, said inflation and the volatile exchange rate are the “most painful” for the working class, pensioners and people with disabilities among others.
In order to stabilise the exchange rate in Suriname, President Chan Santokhi established the Platform Exchange Rate Stabilisation in October aimed at discussing proposals and proposing solutions to be presented to the government within three months.
But critics say as of Tuesday, the Platform has been operating for more than a month with the purchasing power of citizens decreasing daily.
Fols president Marcellino Nerkust said that the socio-economic situation has stalled and the government has no solution to bring relief to society as a whole.
He said a major point of frustration is that in many retail outlets, goods are priced in US dollars and the customer has to pay the equivalent in SRD, with an exchange rate of between SRD$31 and SRD$34 to the US dollar.
The Fols said that it is urging its members to stay at home for one day noting that reports in the press quote the Epidemiology Department of the Bureau of Public Health as indicating that the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, as well as the number of hospital admissions, are increasing. (CMC)