Serious rioting broke out Thrusday in the heart of Buenos Aires when protesting outsourced workers interrupted railway services in one of the main central stations, Constitucion, which then triggered a furious reaction from passengers. Law enforcement officials were surprised by the intensity and extent of the rioting that left several policemen and civilians injured and tens of arrests.
The government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said is would begin criminal actions agasint the ring leaders oif the outsourced workers that interrupted the railway service on the eve of Christmans holidays.
Passengers reacted violently after seven hours of interrupted services and when the concessionaires of the privatized station decided to close the Constitution terminal until the following day. The violence that erupted in an extremely hot and humid day surprised even the protestors: stones, sticks, tear gas, water cannons, smashing and looting of stores surrounding the compound followed while outnumbered and what seemed dis-organized police forces tried to control the situation.
Finally special riot forces moved in and took control of the situation. Meanwhile, representatives for the outsourced employees from the railway line were holding a meeting with officials from the Labour Ministry in order to try and solve the problem.
“The government maintains a steady position with respect to certain issues, such as that of salaries or the integration of outsourced employees to the permanent base, along with the integration of those employees that have been fired,” said Gustavo Medina head of the outsourced protestors.
He added that sources from the national (Argentine) government had told him that there “isn’t much that can be done” because the Transport Secretariat “is being managed by the La Fraternidad union,” linked to the incidents that led to the murder of workers’ party member Mariano Ferreyra. Sources confirmed that the ex Roca line would not function until Friday.
Transport Secretary Juan Pablo Schiavi said that following instructions from Presient Cristina Fernandez he will be going to court to file claims against all those involved in blocking services and preventing hard working citizens from returning to their homes.