Mass layoff under way in Honduras
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- (EFE) -- The Honduran government on Thursday
announced a mass layoff in the public sector as part of a general effort to cut
Honduran Finance Minister Gabriela Nuñez did not say how
many people were let
go, but did state that $3.4 million was made available to pay off loans.
The layoff plan will not affect the police, armed forces, medical
affected by a nurses' strike), education nor the reconstruction efforts to rebuild the
areas destroyed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
Honduran President Carlos Flores ordered the dismissal of nonessential
employees and those who earn less than $308 over a 45-day period.
The government also ordered the elimination of 60 percent of all
posts, and froze the remaining 40 percent. Overtime pay also will be cut by 15
The plan includes spending cuts in fuel, vehicles, repair parts,
and other services.
The announcement coincided with the arrival of the managing director
International Monetary Fund (IMF), Horst Koehler, who will study the Honduran
economy and review the government's debt with IMF, among other topics.
The Finance minister said that these measures will help cut government
by $20 million to compensate for the fall in tax revenues.
The National Association of Public Employees of Honduras declared
an alert and
rejected the decision, calling it damaging to state employees.