Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Workers paralyse Argentina in third general strike

Workers' unions protest against government's $50bn deal with International Monetary Fund and demand salary increases.

A 24-hour general strike has largely paralysed economic activity in Argentina, with unions demanding salary rises and protesting against the government's $50bn funding deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The strike on Monday, which was called by the country's largest trade union confederation CGT, disrupted bus, train and taxi services, the daily Clarin quoted union representatives as saying.

Work stoppages by airline employees led to nearly 600 flights being cancelled and affected at least 71,000 passengers, according to the transport ministry.

The strike also hit food sales, petrol stations, schools, banks and ports. Roadblocks hampered traffic in the capital, Buenos Aires.

The labour action was in protest against a government decision to limit salary increases to up to 15 percent, while inflation is running at 26 percent.

Unions also oppose President Mauricio Macri's recent deal with the IMF, which granted Argentina a $50bn credit line to help it stem the plunge of the peso.

The loan conditions include slashing the fiscal deficit to 1.3 percent in 2019 from more than three percent last year - a target which is expected to involve heavy budget cuts and increase unemployment in the public sector.

About nine percent of the workforce is currently unemployed, according to official figures.

"We can't expect much from this government. They have taken us to the extreme situation of hunger," labour leader Hugo Moyano told Radio 10, accusing the government of having "surrendered to the IMF". 

The strike had the backing of some leaders of Argentina's Catholic Church, who called on the government not to cut funds earmarked for helping the poor.

Macri, a pro-business president who took power in December 2015 after more than a decade of leftist rule, said the strike "does not contribute anything". 

"There has not been a government in decades that has shown so much concern for employment and the worker and for creating new opportunities," Clarin quoted the president as saying.

This is the third general strike organised by CGT - numbering around three million members - against the Macri administration.

Previously, Argentinians organised general strikes in April and December 2017. Many have criticised Macri's government for pursuing austerity policies that disproportionately affect the working class.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Wildfires deadliest on record in Ca...

Read More

California wildfires death toll at ...

Read More

California wildfires: Death toll ri...

Read More

Raging California wildfires kill 9,...

Read More

Brazil landslide: At least 10 dead ...

Read More

Florida orders recount in contentio...

Read More

Most Read Articles

Most Read News


Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:



Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid