August inflation of 12.4% was a new blow into the pockets of the working class. The rise in prices is the consequence of the devaluation that Sergio Massa applied at the request of the IMF.
The most critical situation is with food, the most basic good to guarantee living conditions. Food octopuses concentrate business and although Argentina has plenty of production in relation to the number of population, They impose prices that are prohibitive for millions of people. In a context of high inflation, the behavior of large concentrated capital is to mark up prices to defend and improve their profitability.
A study by the Center for Argentine Political Economy (CEPA) reflected that Three quarters of the turnover of shelf products is accounted for by twenty companies. Some of these companies are Sancor, Danone, Molinos Río De La Plata, Molinos Cañuelas, Unilever, Mastellone, Coca Cola, Aceitera General Deheza, Procter & Gamble, Papelera Del Plata, Cervecería Quilmes, Pepsico and Arcor. They are the ones that took advantage of the troubled river of the devaluation implemented by the Minister of Economy to send new price lists with increases of over 20% in many cases.
In the field of dairy productionthree firms concentrate 75% of the total turnover (La Serenísima, Sancor, Danone), in the branch of Drinks without alcohol the same number of companies control 85% of total sales (Coca-Cola, Villa del Sur and Pepsico). In the case of the home care products There are also three companies that account for 76% of the total turnover (Unilever, Procter&Gamble and Papelera del Plata).
The solution to this problem can only be imposed from below, developing the class struggle. Confronting the oligopolistic power of large companies that profit from hunger with the organization of workers in the sector. It is necessary the workers control of the food industrythe working class has the potential to guarantee supply at affordable prices for the entire population.
Five measures to confront inflation
Measures of another kind are needed to combat inflation, and emergency measures, to guarantee the standard of living of the working majorities as a whole.
*Emergency salary increase to recover what was lost for retirees, employed people and social programs. For a minimum income of $248,962 (July), which is what a basic basket costs on the way to achieving a minimum wage equal to the family basket that Ate-Indec workers calculated at $384,657 (July). Along with the incorporation of trigger clauses that updates the salary month by month according to inflation. The CGT and the entire union leadership have to take the lead in a plan of struggle to recover what was lost.
*Price control through workers and consumers committees. The working class has the potential to guarantee supply at affordable prices for the entire population through workers’ control of the food industry.
In the case of companies that are not listed on the Stock Exchange, the requirement of public access to accounting records and banking transactions is essential. Large companies resort to thousands of tricks to draw their costs and real income. This would open the way for a true price control carried out by committees of workers and popular sectors on all chains of essential products, from production, distribution to sale in large supermarkets. The workers of the different companies will be able to count on the collaboration of public accountants and technicians for this task. Companies that refuse to provide all information and continue to speculate on prices and supplies must be nationalized and placed under the management of its workers in collaboration with professionals from public universities, as part of rational planning to end hunger and guarantee quality food.
*Nationalization of public service companies. To comply with the Fund, the Government moved forward with the reduction of energy subsidies, making this cut fall on the popular sectors, which translates into an increase in rates. Its impact fuels inflationary dynamics. With the nationalization of public services, under the control, administration and management of workers and control of popular users, low or free rates could be accessed for those who cannot pay them. Making essential services stop being a business.
*The problems of inflation cannot be faced to the end without taking measures that provide fundamental solutions. to the structural contradictions of the national economy, of backwardness and dependence that deepens with submission to the Fund and payment of the external debt. The big businessmen are those who drain foreign currency and organize their businesses based on the profits they obtain internationally. He state monopoly of foreign trade It would allow the entry and exit of dollars to be controlled under the control of the workers, thus stopping the speculative maneuvers carried out by large employers, such as the over-invoicing of imports and the under-declaration of exports. Next to the port nationalization that today are in private hands, and the expropriation of the top 4,000.
*In turn, the nationalization of banks and the creation of a single state bank under the control of its workers It is key to avoiding massive capital flight, to protect small and medium-sized savers and to channel national savings into credit that allows the most urgent activities to be carried out to respond to social needs.
The economic and social crisis deepens under the government of Massa, Cristina and Alberto. Milei and Bullrich will also continue the same path of adjustment and submission demanded by the IMF. None of them is willing to affect the profits of the large economic groups, which in the case of food highlight and speculate on the hunger of the people. The only list for the elections that proposes facing the adjustment is the one headed by Myriam Bregman and Nicolás Del Caño. So that the cost of this crisis stops falling on working people, this Thursday the left will take to the streets on a National Day of Struggle. The right faces it in the streets.