Uruguayans reject the approval of the Urgent Consideration Law

The Urgent Consideration Law (LUC) is a neoliberal legislation that promotes budget cuts in the public sector, supports the privatization of public companies and restricts the right to strike of the workers, among other setbacks

July 08, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
A mobilization carried out as a part of the national protest and strike against the LUC in the capital Montevideo on June 4. Photo: PIT-CNT

On July 6, various social movements, trade unions and left-wing political parties manifested their rejection of the Urgent Consideration Law (LUC), approved by the Chamber of Deputies on July 5. The LUC is an anti-worker and neoliberal legislation, promoted by the ruling right-wing government of President Luis Lacalle Pou.

The opposition party, Frente Amplio or Broad Front, a coalition of left-wing political parties and progressive forces, denounced that “the bill is unconstitutional, anti-people, repressive and regressive,” and said that they “will continue fighting and will not allow a step back on the rights won.”

Some sectors of the Frente Amplio proposed collecting signatures to repeal the LUC. The procedure could lead to calling a referendum to eliminate the said legislation. The initiative has the support of the Uruguayan union center, the Inter-Union Plenary of Workers – National Convention of Workers (PIT-CNT), and the Uruguayan Communist Party. However, it is still being deliberated and no sector has formally presented it yet.

The LUC was approved in general by both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate last month amid the massive national protest and strike against it. The general approval gave way to debate on the legislation’s articles and make changes in them. After suggesting modifications and approving the same on July 5, the deputies have sent the bill to the Senate. The senators have 15 days to review and vote on the modifications to the articles of the LUC.

The LUC is a package of 476 articles proposing neoliberal reforms that would impact various aspects of the public sector such as health, education, housing, employment, economy and security. The social movements and the opposition considered them as setbacks as they promote budget cuts in the public sector, support the privatization of public companies, increase the powers of law enforcement forces and restrict the right to strike of the workers, among other issues.

The LUC has been one of the priorities of the Lacalle Pou government. Since assuming office in March, the government has wanted the project to be debated in the parliament. The law was the central focus of the electoral campaign that brought Lacalle Pou to the presidency.