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Montevideo, July 22nd 2024 - 18:18 UTC

 

 

Argentine province of Misiones on the brink of collapse over inflation-dwindled wages

Wednesday, May 22nd 2024 - 10:55 UTC
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If salaries are not increased to match the country's inflation, Misiones is bound for “a social explosion,” Amarilla warned If salaries are not increased to match the country's inflation, Misiones is bound for “a social explosion,” Amarilla warned

The Northeastern Argentine province of Misiones has been virtually paralyzed for five consecutive days as workers from various walks of life are on strike in demand of inflation-matching wage hikes.

The conflict began last Friday with a police protest that eventually spread to other sectors such as teachers, judiciary clerks, doctors, and provincial park rangers seeking to recover some of their purchasing power. In this scenario, federal security forces were dispatched from Buenos Aires while negotiations are still under way.

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If salaries are not increased to match the country's inflation, Misiones is bound for “a social explosion,” Amarilla warned

Offers from provincial authorities who mentioned increases of around 20% have been deemed “inadequate” by local labor leaders. A 36% increase offer for teachers was still under consideration but it would not apply to the retired ones so a concrete answer is yet to be delivered.

Acting as a spokesperson for the local police and corrections officers, the retired Ramón Amarilla told reporters that constables needed to earn enough for a “family basket” and therefore a salary increase was needed to fix the imbalance caused by rampant inflation over the past few months.

Teachers also blocked several highways Tuesday to exert further pressure on Governor Hugo Passalacqua and his cabinet amid overlapping demonstrations.

A teacher interviewed by C5N TV said she earned AR$ 260,000 (around US$ 260) and paid rent worth AR$ 160,000.

“We are not asking for anything out of place, but for an agent to earn the limit of the family basket. If those below are doing well, we are going to be better off,” Amarilla said. He added that the 20% offer was “a lack of respect” and insisted that law enforcement workers needed “100%, no matter what.”

Amarilla also pointed out that with AR$ 400,000 a month “you cannot live” and therefore what the Government was offering was “too little because it is below the indigence figures.”

“They are disrespecting us,” he added while pledging to take the struggle “to the last consequences” given that “AR$ 80,000 more per officer” was a derisory proposal. “The government has not taken into account the situation we are going through,” he stressed.

“If they want the Federal Police to come, let them come, we will defend the province. We want to solve this with dialogue, this can be solved this way, with sticks. I ask the governor to reconsider, otherwise there will be a social explosion,” he added.

Misiones has long international borders with Brazil and Paraguay as well as a shorter boundary with the province of Corrientes.

Categories: Economy, Politics, Argentina.

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