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  • President Mauricio Macri as an IMF puppet during a teacher's protest in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 16, 2019.

    President Mauricio Macri as an IMF puppet during a teacher's protest in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 16, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 May 2019
Opinion

Argentina's Macri will face a full work stoppage Wednesday as citizens say 'no' to the recession brought on by the president.

More than 70 Argentine national unions will participate in a general strike on May 29 led by the General Confederation of Workers (CGT) against President Mauricio Macri and his administration's economic policies.

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This will be the fifth nationwide workers' strike since Macri took office in 2015.

In Buenos Aires, several grassroots organizations announced that they will set "popular pots" in the streets and give away food to demonstrators to "show the hunger" that Argentines have had to live for the past three years due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) structural adjustment policies.

The nationwide strike is supported by the Argentine Confederation of Transport Workers (CATT), an influential organization that brings together 20 unions of port, maritime, aeronautical, urban and railroad workers.

The nation's services and industries will likely be at a standstill as the many unions are expected to join demonstrations.

Train services, bus services and garbage collection services will be canceled Wednesday. Neither highway circulation will be feasible because toll workers are joining demonstrations.

"Nationwide strike on May 29: Get out Macri! A fight plan now!"

As airline unions are also taking part in the massive general strike, some 330 domestic and international flights are expected to be cancelled or delayed, affecting about 37,000 passengers, according to local media.

Classes will be interrupted in elementary public schools, high schools and universities while public hospitals will out of service as state Argentine doctors and health professionals plan to participate in the nationwide strike.

Banking services will also be interrupted throughout the country, according to Banking Association Secretary General Sergio Palazzo, who rejects Macri's economic policies and regretted that the CGT has taken so long to make the decision to organize a national strike.

"If the CGT had called the strike before, instead of waiting for the Argentinean government to resolve the situation, there would not be so many workers fired today," said Palazzo as reported by local media Señales.

The National Union of Justice Employees, the Association of Public Workers (ATE), the National Union of Civilian Personnel (UPCN) will also be present in the national strike.

This massive protest is the Argentinean's response to a government whose policies have generated recession, devaluation and price hikes. In the last year, inflation reached a 54 percent rate and output contraction was 2.5 percent, which rose unemployment to almost 10 percent and the poverty rate to over 32 percent.

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