• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > Argentina

Argentine Labor Unions Protest Macri's Subsidy Cuts

  • At least 20 people were arrested during the protests according to local media.

    At least 20 people were arrested during the protests according to local media. | Photo: @gabrielsoglio

Published 30 April 2019

Macri came to office in 2015 as a favorite among business leaders and investors.

Argentine labor unions staged a 24-hour nationwide strike Tuesday against President Mauricio Macri's fiscal austerity program, blocking streets in the capital of Buenos Aires, shutting down traffic in the city center.

Macri's Recession so Bad No One Can Afford a Slice: 100s of Pizza Places Forced to Close

Thousands of protestors partially paralyzed government offices, schools, banks and airports as opposition to Macri's neoliberal policies raised fresh doubts about his bid for re-election in October.

"Will Macri change? Are they going to give us a big raise after this strike? No," as the Secretary General of the Union of Education Workers Eduardo Lopez told Reuters.

"But, if we don't strike, we would be worse off without a doubt," he added, giving examples. "If we hadn't gone to the Plaza de Mayo, members of the genocidal (military dictatorship) would be free. If we hadn't gone to Congress, today the labor reform would be out like in Brazil, which opened the door for (President) Bolsonaro."

"If we hadn't gone on strike, today they would have closed schools that were open, and that are open, and that will stay open. That's why fighting makes sense, and when the government is from the right, the fight is to not be worse off."

The union is demanding a 40 percent salary raise, debt cancelation for public services from December 2017, and a raise of the minimium wage among others.

Among other problems is Argentina's out-of-control inflation rate, which hit 54.7 percent in March, its highest since 1991. Unemployment also reached a peak following the layoffs of over 73,000 jobs between December 2015, when Macri took office, and July 2018.

The value of the Argentine peso also shrank by 50 percent last year due to the administration's selling off of pesos and dollar reserves.

Opinion polls show Macri losing popularity after he raised taxes and cut public utility subsidies, in contrast to Argentina's previous leader, Cristina Fernandez, who increased the government's role in the economy, and who has been gaining popularity in another possible run for the presidency in October.

Post with no comments.