Argentina running out of fuel; strikers challenge Cristina Fernandez and rally at Plaza de Mayo
Argentina is on the verge of a possible oil national and gas shortage within the next few hours as the teamsters three day strike knocks out refineries distribution in spite of the government’s decision to fine the union and file charges against the leaders of the mobilization.
According to fuel distributors’ chambers in Buenos Aires Province, the situation will worsen by noon as “between 60 and 65% of the provincial petrol stations will probably exhaust their existence stock”, the head of the Buenos Aires Fuel Entities Federation Luis Malchiodi said.
The Teamsters' Union head Pablo Moyano is expected to give a press conference late Thursday afternoon while truckers in company of other allied unions are to head a massive demonstration to Plaza de Mayo seat of Argentina’s Government house, Casa Rosada.
Meanwhile, the Labour Ministry has announced a 4 million pesos fine (approx 750.000 dollars) to the truckers’ union, while the Interior Ministry has officially filed charges against Hugo and Pablo Moyano. Pablo is head of the teamsters and father Hugo leads the organized labour powerful CGT.
“Let them press charges against me, there is no problem whatsoever, but starting right now a general nationwide teamster’s strike begins,” Moyano had anticipated during an interview with a cable news late Wednesday.
The legal action refers to offences contemplated in articles 149 of the Argentine Penal Code as threats and aggravated threats when they aim to obtain a measure or concession on part of either the Executive, legislative or judiciary branches.
Minister Randazzo acting on behalf President Cristina Fernández filed the charges against the Moyanos, Sr and Jr.
Thursday’s massive rally at Plaza de Mayo, right in front of the Government’s House, is supposed to gather all unions allied with the Moyano family.
“We will march towards Plaza de Mayo and other unions will back us up, Pablo Moyano said and assured that A Government that needs to deploy armed forces to the street is doing something wrong.”
Due to the current situation, the Head of State had to cut her trip to the Rio+20 Summit in Río de Janeiro and returned Wednesday to Buenos Aires to closely monitor the situation.
The teamsters' union demands a 30%, the end of the income tax and to salary caps to collect family allowances.
Amid the tension between the Government of Cristina Fernandez and truck drivers over the strike which has cut off the country’s national fuel distribution, Pablo Moyano stated that “instead of negotiating, they just keep putting fuel to the fire,” restating his claim for talks.
“The Government needs to live in reality, not in a bubble. They cannot see the public aggravation on the streets.
“We want to know exactly what changed, because the Moyano’s have not changed. We used to be welcomed. The Government has distanced itself from the workers,” Pablo Moyano stated.
“We were just able to see images of a petrol tanker being driven by a border guard, loading fuel in a total military-like way, surrounded by guards. It showed us an image of a military dictatorship”, said Moyano.