Deal could end major Mexico teacher strike

Oct. 21, 2006 at 1:19 PM

OAXACA CITY, Mexico, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Teachers in the Mexican state of Oaxaca have agreed to end their long-running strike and return to the classroom as early as next week.

The strike that began in May over demands for higher pay evolved quickly into a broad-based protest that resulted in thousands of people camped out around central plazas in Oaxaca City and frequent standoffs with police that resulted in five deaths.

The Los Angeles Times said the agreement reached this week provides a 30-percent raise for Oaxaca's 70,000 teachers could split the alliance between the union and the other groups that rallied to their side.

At the same time, however, a protest leader predicted Friday that demonstrators might not abandon the barricades willingly unless key state and police officials are replaced.

Oaxaca is considered one of the poorest states in Mexico and saw its tourist business drop significantly during the summer.

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