June 19, 2013
36-hour subway strike begins
Breakaway AGTSyP Buenos Aires Subte subway system workers started today at midday a 36-hour strike that was paralyzing all Buenos Aires underground system and causing transport hassle throughout the capital. UTA subway employees union also confirmed a 24-hour walkout for tomorrow adding further complications to passengers.
Both strikes affect the six subway lines. AGTSyP demands a 28 percent wage hike and an increase in the seniority category from 1.3 percent to two percent. They also complain about the unsuccessful result of collective wage bargaining in which they informally participated because officially it is UTA, which is dominated by the bus drivers, that holds the legal status to hold the talks.
Employees also demand “investments in the public transport of passengers.”
Metrovías said this week in a press statement it is “deeply concerned” about its “complex economic-financial situation” and the strike that is scheduled to start today. Metrovías said that the argument between the national government and the Macri administration was affecting its profit margin.
“The national government, which has been paying the total amount of the subsidies, pledged to pay a half during one year, and the City set a ticket price hike from $1.10 pesos to 2.50 pesos, to cover the other half,” explained the company.
The company also confirmed that it currently does not have access to most of the national government’s subsidies. Metrovías said that after the tariff hike there was also a 20 percent drop in passengers. “The company cannot take on new costs without a definition on the origin and continuity of the necessary funds,” the press release said.