Argentine labour unions leaders said that support for the successful national strike was “much stronger than we expected” and urged President Cristina Fernández to listen to “people’s message.”
“The protest reflected people’s dissatisfaction with what is happening in the country and the Government’s lack of responses. The silence in the streets is what the Government should listen to” said dissident CGT union leader and teamster Hugo Moyano during a press conference along with Agrarian Federation head Eduardo Buzzi and other unions’ leaders.
At one time I thought this government was national and popular. But it discriminates against the most vulnerable people of our society: children and the elderly. How can they discriminate against our children; when they put a cap on family pensions? This Government is far from national and popular, Moyano added.
Pablo Micheli chief of CTA, the other big workers union behind the strike assured the one day protest was a complete success and underlined that “thousands joined us to protest a government that doesn't want to listen to us.
The secretary-general of the Argentine court workers union Julio Piumato said that members of the anti-government branch of the CGT were “very happy” with the development of the strike and that “the ball will remain in the government’s court” regarding workers’ demands.
“Today all workers are giving a great example of unity by taking aside any differences that might exist between their union leaders.”
The strike is a total success. We must understand the situation workers are experiencing. A large portion of the working class is unregistered or working off-shore positions, all which is nothing but a sign of how precarious the labour situation is.”
“And those who are working today must be sad since they feel oppressed as they can’t claim for their rights. This also confirms how precarious the labour situation is for some workers”, Piumato remarked.
Likewise, Piumato asked a group of journalists: Can you join the strike? Many of your colleagues told me they can’t because if they do, they will lose their jobs. Well, to me those are not the ideal working conditions. It reveals the pressure put by your bosses to you and to your unions so you don’t join measures like this.”
Asked about the roadblocks set in the BA City surrounding areas, Piumato explained: “Everybody knew that there will be tickets. They [pickets] are part of the protests, and the people knew it beforehand.”