Argentina's powerful organized labour leader Hugo Moyano called for President Cristina Fernandez, CFK, to run for re-election but also asked for greater labour participation in the ballot lists, sharing companies’ profits and seats in the boards of the main corporations.
Moyano, a close ally of the Kirchners addressed a huge crowd in downtown Buenos Aires on Friday in anticipation of Sunday’s May first Workers Day. Although Cristina Fernandez did not attend, she did send a message and most of her cabinet ministers plus governors, lawmakers and other administration officials were present at the rally.
In her message President Cristina Fernandez praised her late husband former President Nestor Kirchner (“who left for History”) and the current “development with inclusion model” he forged and again repeated the need for restraint in labour discussions: “in his name (Mr. Kirchner) I call upon you to defend what we have achieved and to double efforts”.
She added that “eight years ago, the day of the election of April 27 we both had the certainty that our time, the time of Argentine people had finally come”.
“Kirchner threw himself into the presidency without measuring personal or political costs,” the President stressed.
Moyano begun saying he was most grateful to the president and understood her absence since “last April 27 marked six months since the death of President Kirchner, a man who undoubtedly changed the situation of Argentina…it cannot be denied that there is a before and after Kirchner.
He then enumerated the achievements of the “Kirchner development model” among which the economic recovery, lowering public debt, re-nationalizing pensions, family and children allowances and the media bill.
“When I first met him I thought I was talking to a man with a bow and arrow fighting the mighty armies from NATO, but nevertheless this man managed to cut our national debt by 70%. This is something us workers must value”.
There are many people perhaps who criticize the Government, but we must respond to them, that ever since they came into power in 2003 we have gained a historic record of reserves: more than 50 billion dollars worth, which belong to you, to the working public,” assured Moyano.
He then pointed guns to Argentine corporations’ leaders and sharing profits. “They don’t want workers to have a share of profits. But we have acted with responsibility, we have been discussing salaries for years and the economy keeps growing. I’m sure we are on the way of achieving the ‘fifty/fifty’ scheme of which General Peron taught us”.
“This must be the year when the bill to share profits is definitively approved, profits generated by workers must be shared” emphasized Moyano.
He then claimed workers must be included in the ruling party ballot lists for the coming October election. “Why can’t we demand some places in the ballot, if we have all the right to do so and the obligation of acting with responsibility, as we have done?”
“Politicians shouldn't think of workers only at election time” said Moyano adding that union members have the right to personally lead Argentina's government and economy.
Finally Moyano questioned the opposition, attacked the media and called on President Cristina Kirchner to run for re-election and ensure the model continues. Looking out to the crowd the organized labour leader said that “with all of you out there it’s not going to cost that much”.
Moyano had originally planned to have President Cristina Fernandez announce her re-election bid before a rally of half a million people. However Mrs. Kirchner who is politically moving to the centre as October elections approaches, found a good excuse not to attend, the six months of her husband’s death, and Moyano did not suffer the embarrassment of not having fulfilled the half million promise.
Furthermore middle of the road and independent voters fear Moyano, and this has been aggravated by his latest demands for union leaders in October’s ballot lists and one of his closest advisors, Hector Recalde in the vice-president ticket with Mrs Kirchner.
The head of the Argentine Labour Confederation makes no secret that he has his own presidential aspirations for 2015.