Argentina’s three main organized labour groupings, and in opposition to Argentine president Cristina Fernandez, have called for a national strike on Tuesday which counts with the support of several tens of camp and city organizations plus hundreds of pickets in the main cities ‘to ensure there is no activity’.
The demonstration which is expected to have a huge response comes almost two weeks after 8N when hundreds of thousands of Argentines all over the country took to the streets, convened by the social networks, shocking the administration of President Cristina Fernandez and surprising the rest of the political establishment which never expected such a massive, almost spontaneous turnout.
On Tuesday the pickets, according to the three organizations, will have the duty to ensure the compliance with the national strike and are expected to cause havoc in the transport system and even in domestic flight airports.
The protest is to demand a higher starting income taxing floor and smaller rates for workers’ families; an increase in child and family allowance and making the government cancel the social security debt with the unions, a sum estimated in 2.5bn dollars, according to the latest release from the National Auditing Office.
CTA’s umbrella union leader Pablo Micheli told reporters that “pickets have always existed”, and added, “So I recommend that those who still want to go to work tomorrow, better do it before the roadblocks start.”
“If there’s a national strike, it should be understood as what it is: a strike. So please understand that we can’t just stay at home saying how bad things are going, we have to do something, we have to claim for our rights.”
Likewise, Micheli, who planned the strike along with the CGT Labour Confederation led by Hugo Moyano and will also count with the support of the Blue&White CGT umbrella union headed by Luis Barrionuevo of the Restaurant workers’ union, and the Argentine Agrarian Federation, remembered that there are “many unions that totally agree with our claims but instead their leaders spend their time visiting government’s officials
“Pickets are not a matter of life or death; it’s never happened. We haven’t been involved in acts of violence, at least in strikes we have organized”, added Micheli.
Urban transport allegedly is not joining the strike but trouble is expected, and likewise with the underground very much limited in the area it tours. Air commercial traffic has been suspended.
Teamster boss and head of the dissident CGT, Hugo Moyano forecasted that “tomorrow we are going to see a ‘strong, effective national strike’ against the government and “we hope it is the most effective possible”.
Likewise the leader of the Corriente Clasista y Combativa (CCC) left-wing political group, Juan Carlos Alderete, assured that on Tuesday’s national strike “there will be 160 pickets across the country in response to the government's abuse against workers.
Likewise, Alderete said that “at least 16 pickets or roadblocks will be held in Greater Buenos Aires suburb areas.
In conversations with a radio station, the picketer justified the strike, stating that it hurts to see how the government mistreats and punishes workers and how it lies to us.
It hurts to see how the inflation hits on us all. How the health and education systems are deteriorating. So, be aware that tomorrow’s strike is not only because of salary claims but for the most urgent needs.
“The only thing the government has done is permanently disqualify workers and this causes lot of anger within in the labour movement Alderete said and added: “The labour movement has to be at the service of the workers and neither to a government nor employers”.