Argentina’s powerful Industrial Union (UIA) warned that if President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is re-elected next October one of the top issues of her agenda will be taking action in order to control “a concerning inflation”.
The message follows last Sunday’s landslide victory of President Cristina Fernandez in the national simultaneous primaries when she managed more votes than all her potential competitors put together, anticipating a promising result for her re-election bid in October.
“For over a year now, the relationship between the President and the UIA has changed a lot. We’re working side by side with the Government. By looking at the primary election results, we can predict that the government’s economic agenda will continue. So we will have to expand it”, said UIA Vice-president Juan Carlos Sacco.
“We have to expand the government agenda because we need more investments, like Cristina Kirchner says. That’s why we say that in order to have more investment, we need to have more legal predictability and labour laws” insisted the UIA official.
Sacco added that the President “has all the power to make decisions after the electorate showed such strong support last Sunday”. However he insisted that his peers are “worried about inflation.”
“I believe that, now that the Government is theoretically expected to win the October presidential elections, it will be able to focus on ways to control it” he explained.
Although until a year ago the UIA and the administration of President Cristina Fernandez were confronted over corporations’ profit sharing with workers, having union representatives in corporate boards and criticisms for not investing enough in Argentina, the situation has since changed radically.
The Argentine government policy of substituting imports, limiting or slowing the access of foreign goods to the domestic market plus creating and protecting Argentine jobs has triggered a manufacturing boom and growing employment.
However inflation remains controversial. Despite the Argentine government acknowledgement of a systematic price hike, it does not, however, consider this to be “a general trend” but rather temporary distortions generated by the lack of sufficient supply and investments.
This nevertheless does not impede Indec, the national statistic bureau from publishing inflation indexes which are way below what private consultants indicate and organized labour, aligned with the government, refer to when discussing salary contracts.