Police union proposes sending a representative to operations during demonstrations as a “guarantor”

Police union proposes sending a representative to operations during demonstrations as a “guarantor”
Police union proposes sending a representative to operations during demonstrations as a “guarantor”

Following a motion presented by eight unions, the PIT-CNT is considering suspending all rights of the National Police Union (Sipolna) until the next Congress, scheduled for mid-2025. This proposal, a consequence of the repression by police officers during a demonstration by fishery workers at the beginning of June, will be addressed and voted on at the next meeting of the Representative Board, which will take place next Monday 15th.

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In the face of this discussion, there have been several internal negotiations within the union in recent days. One of them was a meeting between the authorities of Sipolna and representatives of the union movement Articulación, to which they are allied. The meeting took place on Friday 5th and was attended by the general secretary of the PIT-CNT, Elbia Pereira, and the director of the Cuesta Duarte Institute, Milton Castellano.

Patricia Noy, president of Sipolna, told Search that on Monday 15th they will attend the meeting of the Representative Board in a spirit of “dialogue” and with a “proposal” with actions that they believe can contribute to avoiding situations of tension. Among them, the leader announced that they will propose that a representative of the union attend “each demonstration and mobilization.” For Noy, this presence can play a role of “guarantor” both for those who are protesting and for the police officers.

“When we have been in mobilizations there have never been any incidents,” he said.

Noy said that Pereira and Castellano told them at the meeting that a good part of the union leadership has a position against the suspension motion. In a note published by The Observeralthough with nuances, the bank leader Fernando Gambera and those of the Confederation of State Employees Organizations (COFE), José Lorenzo López —vice president of the PIT-CNT— and Martín Pereira, expressed their opinions in this sense.

The motion to suspend Sipolna was presented by the Railway Union, the Union of Codicen Officials, the National Union of Sea Workers and Related Workers, the Graphic Arts Union, the Association of Social Security Workers, the Federation of OSE Officials, the Single Gastronomic and Hotel Union of Uruguay and the Association of Postal Officials of Uruguay.

After a period of withdrawal, Sipolna had decided to return to the PIT-CNT. The union has not yet regained the place in the Executive Secretariat that it was granted at the last Congress.

In March 2021, the police union was suspended by the PIT-CNT Representative Board, a decision that was reversed a few days later.

Suicides

Two police suicides were reported in the last week. Both were young men, one was 21 and the other 19. According to Noy, Searchthere are now 11 suicides recorded among police officers so far this year.

This reality has been a concern for the union for years and is among its priorities. For the president — beyond some advances such as the permanent psychological care at the emergency room of the Police Hospital — the authorities of the Ministry of the Interior have not addressed this mental health problem “with the seriousness it requires.”

 
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