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Argentine government and organized labour clash in first day of a week of conflicts

Tuesday, January 31st 2012 - 05:24 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Federal Planning Minister De Vido: ‘when the post office belonged to Macri none of this happened’ Federal Planning Minister De Vido: ‘when the post office belonged to Macri none of this happened’

The Argentine government as was anticipated by organized labour woke on Monday to the first day of a week of conflicts over salary and work conditions, taking as the leading case for the struggle the Argentine post office and its distribution fleet.

The truckers unions run by Hugo and Pablo Moyano (father and son) blocked off on Monday the entrances to various Correo Argentino mail depots, while Planning Minister Julio De Vido defended the company assuring that “it does not have any contracts allowing poor labour conditions”

“It is surprising that these things are being said now, especially because when the post office belonged to Macri (Conservative mayor of the City of Buenos Aires) and was under fire because workers were being let go without explanation, nobody said anything” underlined De Vido, adding that “surely the interests of the private mail companies are behind all of this.”

“All of the Correo Argentino workers are under a management scheme as indicated by law,” highlighted De Vido while dismissing the accusations made by the unionists against the company’s current working conditions.

Amid the tensions between organized labour CGT boss Hugo Moyano and the Government, the Correo Argentino teamsters’ union met for talks at their headquarters led by Pablo Moyano, in order to discuss what further action is to be taken with regard to their protests.

During the meeting, the teamsters decided to put together their “battle plan” which included the blocking-off of Correo Argentino offices.

The uniondid not rule out plans for a national strike with a march toward Buenos Aires City Plaza de Mayo, especially if in the next few hours negotiations are not organized between the company and the Labour Ministry.

“The battle plan continues in defence of the legitimate job placements. The march is foreseen, but first of all we are looking to open negotiation talks. There is no total trucker strike, and when one is decided on, it will be announced by the secretary general of the union”

However the head of the taxi drivers’ union Omar Viviani acknowledged that there are “rifts” within the CGT labour confederation union due to the current differences between the organization’s leader Hugo Moyano and President Cristina Fernández. He warned that “there are some comrades who do not support a confrontation with the Government.”

Viviani, who is part of Moyano’s inner circle, admitted that the teamster leader is making some claims that “maybe do not represent the CGT in its entirety,” and tried to tone down the latest verbal escalation between unionists and Government officials, explaining that “there’s always time to return to dialogue.”

“This is a matter that has been brought up by Moyano. There are some rifts because there are some comrades who do not support a confrontation with the Government. But there’s always time to return to dialogue, to be conciliatory,” he explained.

However, the unionist said that he agrees with Moyano’s claim that the collective bargaining talks should be discussed by using the inflation levels at the supermarket, and not the 18% levels that Government suggests.

“The issue is that the Government has pegged talks to a certain percentage, while most of the unions say that percentage is not enough. We will always have this discussion, but it is also true that an 18% increase in wages is not enough for the workers’ movement,” he assured.

Categories: Economy, Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • GeoffWard2

    National strikes and marches = confrontation.

    It necessitates 'defense of the state', and will put the military as well as the police on the streets to confront.

    The 'ante will be upped' because that is the purpose of the confrontation. The public have already been primed.

    The 'unions'' intent is to get some of the 'forces of law and order' to step across the lines and change sides.

    This potentiates the use of weapons,
    and the Arab Spring jumps to a new continent.

    Anticipate extreme viciousness if this kicks off.
    There is a track record.

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 11:03 am 0
  • Yuleno

    Well Geoff that might be the case,but there are new ways of handling disputes.Intimidation is much less visible and has hard and soft versions.Or is the action deep seated and has wide support.Equality and wealth distribution needs addressing,I think?

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 01:51 pm 0
  • Welsh Wizard

    Geoff. The Arab spring is not going to move to Argentina, not a chance. Yes, in BA, the police and others may well be heavy handed (Macri has a track record with this) but there will be no revolution. All that will happen is that people will have to start coming to terms with the fact that their inflation rate rises will now only match government inflation figures rather than actual inflation figures. Support for CFK might start to dwindle slightly but there will be no revolution.

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 02:27 pm 0
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