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  • State workers gather outside the Labor Ministry demanding a halt in job cuts as part of a protest in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 29, 2015.

    State workers gather outside the Labor Ministry demanding a halt in job cuts as part of a protest in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 29, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 April 2016

Thousands of unionized Argentine state workers are protesting the labor policies of President Mauricio Macri, who took office in December.

About 100,000 members of Argentina’s largest trade unions are expected to stage protests strikes on Friday to demand higher wages, pension benefits and an end to mass layoffs that have hit the public sector as a result of controversial labor policies carried out by President Mauricio Macri. 

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The rallies, which take place ahead of International Workers’ Day on Sunday, are being coordinated by the Center for Argentine Workers (CTA) and General Confederation of Workers (CGT), are expected to include the participation of up to 100,000 workers, organizers estimated. 

“Macri is against the workers,” Hugo Moyano leader of the DGT said yesterday, criticizing the president for failing to engage in dialogue with union representatives over the job losses.

Macri's administration has said it has cut 10,000 workers across various government ministries, and that more layoffs may be coming. Unions say around 70,000 have been cut.

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Mauricio Macri Fires 10,000 Argentine Gov't Employees in 7 Days

Friday's protests take place as the Argentine head-of-state is threatening to veto a bill that was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, which seeks to ban dismissals in both the public and the private sector. 

WATCH:Argentina: Bank Workers on 24-Hour National Strike

High-ranking union leaders have vowed to expand protests if President Macri elects to use his veto powers to outlaw the emergency labor bill that was passed through the senate earlier this week. 

“If the president uses his veto against the anti-layoffs bill we will expand our actions,” Union representative of the CTA Pablo Micheli stated. 

The bill has yet to be discussed in the Lower House of Congress. 

However, the head of the CTA, Hugo Yasky echoed similar sentiments on Thursday telling teleSUR English that, “If the bill is passed and then vetoed, it would be a denial of the right to demand a law against layoffs and it would also deny the Congress the ability to correct the policies carried out by the executive branch.”

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