MONTEVIDEO – Dozens of Uruguayan couples have to get married in the street as the result of an original kind of protest by civil servants working at the Registry Office in Montevideo, where half of the country’s 3.4 million inhabitants live, union officials said on Friday.
To force authorities to consider their demands, Registry Office employees have set up tables in the street in front of the building, located in the Old Town of the Uruguayan capital, and there, amid photos being snapped, congratulations and the traditional rice being tossed at the newlyweds, the official ceremony is held and the couples receive their marriage certificates.
If it rains, the civil wedding is moved inside to the Registry Office’s entry hall.
The Association of Registry Office Civil Servants (AFURECI) demands that the Jose Mujica government hike their salaries 26 percent, which, union officials told Efe, was approved in 2011.
Up to now “about 30” couples have been married in the street, and “around the same number of street weddings” were scheduled for Friday, union officials said.
During previous demonstrations by the Registry Office union, wedding ceremonies were postponed until the conflict was settled, with the consequent inconvenience to the couples.
Now “we see this is a better way to protest – it’s even supported by the newlyweds,” the officials said.