workers paralyzed the country against the destruction of the State and labor rights promoted by the government’s neoliberal measures.

By Bruno Falci, from Buenos Aires, for Portal O Cafezinho

The General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the main union in Argentina, and the Central de Trabalhadores y Trabalhadoras de Argentina (CTA) led, this Thursday (9), a 24-hour general strike across the country against the Labor Law Bases, the DNU, the repressive protocol against protests and all the predatory economic policies of Javier Milei’s far-right government.

A national strike that affected transport, airports, education, health, commerce, banking services and all sectors of the country. Hundreds of flights were cancelled. And public transport stopped.

The country’s main cities were paralyzed by the transport strike. Since Wednesday night, many of the factories started moving. The streets of the city of Buenos Aires were deserted. The strength of the strike and the massive mobilizations in recent months showed that there is strength to overthrow Milei’s entire plan.

This is the second incisive mobilization against the government, which took office on December 10th. The first was on January 24th and resulted in a 12-hour national strike. As expected, there was no mobilization in the streets. An important historical exception. As on every Thursday for over 40 years, the Madres of Plaza de Mayo held a demonstration in front of the Casa Rosada, headquarters of the Argentine government, always in memory of those killed and disappeared during the military dictatorship.

Harmful economic plans

The strike occurs in a context of high and uncontrolled inflation, with the Government very active and willing to move forward with an adjustment in public spending, which includes sharp drops in purchasing power and the minimum wage and control of retirement benefits. For this harmful plan to come to fruition, one of its objectives is to condition the vote on the Basic Law and the fiscal package, two sensitive initiatives for unions because they include labor reform and income tax refunds.

Héctor Daer, general secretary of the CGT, ratified the strike days ago. “The impact generated by the adjustment of prices and tariffs that has occurred with the sole intention of reducing wages, only leads us to an unacceptable recessive process. That’s why we took the decision to call a 24-hour strike on May 9th,” he said during the announcement of the measure.

All unions that make up the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) joined the general strike: FAECYS (Commerce), UOCRA (Construction), UPCN and ATE (State) FTIA (Food), FATSA (Health), UOM (Metallurgical), UTHGRA (Hotels and gastronomy), UATRE (Rural), SMATA (Mechanics), Leve e Fuerza (Energy), FNTC (Truckers), UTA (Urban Public Transport), La Bancaria (banks), CEA (Teachers). Furthermore, other unions such as building administrators, airmen, among others, also joined the movement.

“Everything is in favor of businesspeople”

Public transport was one of the sectors most affected by the general strike because all unions joined the measure. The leader of the Railway Union, Rubén “Pollo” Sobrero, general secretary of the Oeste-Haedo section of the Sarmiento Railway, warned of the call for a “36-hour strike” if the force measure called this Thursday by the CGT has no effect on the national government’s response.

“Of the 262 articles in the Basic Law, none aims to improve the middle class or workers. Everything is in favor of the businesspeople,” he said in statements to the TN channel. “The Government does not give answers, it does not tell you anything. We are proposing to the CGT that if there are no answers to this strike, we go on to a 36-hour strike. “We were clear: if there is no dialogue, we will go to 36 hours”, he concluded.

The strike is having a strong impact on public schools, as the majority of teachers have joined the movement. Private school teachers also joined in. Although institutions are open, many have decided not to count the absences of students and teachers who did not attend. The Buenos Aires International Book Fair did not join the strike. Despite the critical speech against Javier Milei’s government, the El Libro Foundation (FEL) reported that it let the almost 350 exhibiting stands decide whether or not they will work. Support for the strike prevailed.


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