National strike was felt all over Dominican Republic – Three Dead

With at least three deaths nationwide attributed to the strike fatalities, including members of the Police and a man who was using his cell phone to capture images of the unrest, dozens arrested and several injured, yesterday’s nationwide strike had a strong impact on the country. According to Diario Libre, the strike called by the Alternative Social Forum (FSA) was felt in the National District and the province of Santo Domingo, most notably in public transport and commerce where activity was minimal. The diminished government’s OMSA fleet offered free transportation in Santo Domingo and Santiago.

In the capital, transport and commercial activities were reduced considerably, along with pedestrian traffic in the city.

Government offices, nevertheless, operated as usual, and it was a day to expedite paperwork.

Major businesses, such as La Sirena and Bravo on Winston Churchill operated as usual, although some suppliers did not replenish their stocks.

On the other hand, businesses along the Isabel Aguiar, Padre Castellanos and 27 de Febrero avenues closed their doors.

"...three deaths nationwide attributed to the strike fatalities, including members of the Police and a man who was using his cell phone to capture images of the unrest..."

The presence of employees in the Herrera Industrial Park was drastically reduced and in the morning many companies did not open. In the barrios in the north of the capital, commercial sites remained closed and activity fell to zero.

In Santo Domingo East, the largest municipality of the province of Santo Domingo, the strike received massive support along the main roads, in the barrios and the commercial centers.

Businesses like Megacentro saw a significant reduction in customer traffic, to the point where many stores opened later than normal. Vehicular traffic along the main roads, Charles De Gaulle, San Vicente, Mella and Mendoza was at a minimum level. In the meantime, many citizens played games in the municipal parks.

In the Santo Domingo North municipality acceptance of the strike was also evident, not only through the great number of closed businesses and the absence of people on the streets, but also because many who did go to work said that they supported the strike.

Martin de la Cruz told reporters that he decided to open his small stall selling pork rinds in Villa Mella because some friends asked him to, but he was totally in agreement with the strike. “This reminds me of the strike in 1962. You weren’t here but it was just like this: very well organized, all the transportation was paralyzed and the city was completely quiet,” recalled De la Cruz, who is about 70 years of age.

In the Metro stations, passenger flow was also reduced, although the perception varied according to the employees at each station: while some said that everything was the same as any other day, other cashiers said that the ticket sales had fallen off by more than 50%.

Court proceedings all over the city were delayed and hospitals were relatively empty. All the universities suspended classes because of the absence of students and most schools were closed. {DATA COURTESY:}

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