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News > Latin America

Argentine Teachers Begin New 48-Hour Strike Against President Macri

  • Protesters march to support striking teachers in Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Protesters march to support striking teachers in Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires, Argentina. | Photo: EFE

Published 29 March 2017

Thousands of teachers are demanding a fair and necessary pay increase as the government prepares to squander US$2 billion on weapons from the U.S.

The teachers' unions in Argentina launched a new, two-day strike Wednesday against the government of Mauricio Macri until Thursday, as wage hikes negotiations failed between the teachers and government officials.

Macri Compares Argentina Teachers Strike to Hiroshima

The Unified Teacher Front of Buenos Aires is made up of six unions related to education, including the Unity Front of Education Workers of Buenos Aires, Private Teachers Union, Argentine Teaching Unions, Association of Teachers of Technical Schools, Teachers' Union of the Province of Buenos Aires, and the Federation of Buenos Aires Teachers.

This will be the fourth strike called by the unions since marches began four weeks ago, as teachers demand a 35 percent wage increase to compensate for rising inflation in the country, which is now at 40 percent.

The strike affects about 4 million students in the city of Buenos Aires, according to local media.

María Eugenia Vidal, governor of the province of Buenos Aires from the ruling party Cambiemos, called on unions on Tuesday to accept a 19 percent increase to be paid in three payments, plus a compensation fee of about US$32.

Argentine Teachers to Macri: 'We Chose Public School System'

"Due to the irresponsible proposal of the provincial government, again of 19 percent in three installments, the six guilds of Buenos Aires teachers reject in unison this disqualifying offer," said the Front.

The teachers also criticize the Macri administration for handing over decision-making authority on minimum wage policies to provincial governments, as they advocated for salary negotiation at a national level.

While the right-wing government refuses to adequately open its purse springs for struggling teachers, a recent report shows that money is no object when it comes to investing in the military. Macri is ready to dole out US$2 billion to the United States in exchange for fighter jets, war tanks, medium and long-range missiles, helicopters, and other military hardware.

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