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Argentine unions anticipate massive support and turnout for Thursday's national strike

Thursday, April 10th 2014 - 05:56 UTC
Full article 22 comments
“This is not a political strike; people feel abused, we want to talk with the President”, said Moyano “This is not a political strike; people feel abused, we want to talk with the President”, said Moyano

Argentina will witness on Thursday a new test of political clout and influence between the administration of Argentine president Cristina Fernandez and dissident organized labor, headed by teamster Hugo Moyano who has called for a national strike, anticipating it will have “a resounding massive support and turnout from the Argentine people”.

 During a press conference Moyano head of the Workers Confederation, CGT, claimed there has been no response for 'dialogue' from the government or for the many demands from workers and discarded it had nothing to do with politics.

“Political? a political strike? nonsense?”, said Moyano in reference to statements with other labor organizations aligned with the government of Cristina Fernandez, who argue that it is not constructive to have national strike in the midst of the salaries negotiations round.

Among the demands from the teamsters and other trade unions protesting on Thursday are salary increases with a floor of 40% and a lifting of the minimum for income tax to 15.000 Pesos, approximately 1.800 US dollars. With double digit inflation the number of people caught in the income tax net keeps increasing.

Other issues include the administration of medical insurance services by the unions, family allowances “for all workers”, an “emergency” salary rise for pensioners and the controversial issue of public security because “workers are also victims of violent crime”.

Moyano insisted that there will be a massive turnout: “people are angry because they feel abused”. The president keeps calling for dialogue over the Malvinas, why doesn't she start at home and speaks to the workers?“

“No one can deny this walkout belongs to everyone. We are certain that tomorrow's turnout will be a show of how we have read people’s will. The strike will be massive,” Moyano affirmed and warned that any violent event that could take place on Thursday will fall on the government’s shoulders.

“Our agenda will have the support of all the population, we are becoming the voice of those who cannot speak, from those that don't have enough to eat to those who have no security and are exposed to violent crime. We are doing what the community is asking us to do. Tomorrow’s will be a strike that will remain in the history of Argentina,” affirmed Luis Barrionuevo another union leader who insisted that protesting workers were not seeking to “destabilize” the federal government.

“Although we do not belong to the same union neither we think the same in several issues, we did not hesitate to leave all differences aside facing such a critic situation, struggling for social justice,” CTA’s Pablo Micheli said aligned with the statements by Moyano and Barrionuevo, adding that the February 24 devaluation of Argentina’s Peso currency and high inflation are “crushing” workers’ purchasing power.

“The best show that workers disagree with the government will be the solitude and the silence of the streets tomorrow to show we disagree with this economic model. We are against destabilizing the government; we are in favor of a democracy where wealth can be distributed somehow else,” Micheli insisted.

Meanwhile the Labor Ministry published on Wednesday a full page add in national media stating that ”Tomorrow most Argentines want to work”, and listed all the unions that have not adhered to the strike among which teachers, bank staff, several industries, taxis and hospitals.

But Moyano dominates teamsters and most transport unions which means no urban or long distance buses, metro and trains, and has the support of other unions such as air transport and those representing government staff at all levels.

The administration of President Cristina Fernandez Cabinet also warned public transport companies that they will see their subsidies reduced if they join the nationwide strike, and announced that the government has instructed an in depth study on 'the right to strike and the provision of public services'.

The last national strike in Argentina was in November 2012 and had a significant turnout paralyzing most of the country.

Top Comments

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  • Welsh Wizard

    “The president keeps calling for dialogue over the Malvinas, why doesn't she start at home and speaks to the workers”

    The Malvinas opium seems to be running out...

    Apr 10th, 2014 - 08:18 am 0
  • golfcronie

    Not a problem for Argies, just another day off Hurrah! Next year they will be celebrating it as a national holiday, just like them celebrating the 2nd April 1982.

    Apr 10th, 2014 - 10:10 am 0
  • Anglotino

    Now the right to strike is being “investigated”?

    Slippery slope. But it was bound to happen.

    Such a predictable path.

    Apr 10th, 2014 - 10:11 am 0
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