Controversy around Trucker’s Union participation in Fair Price auditing

The government agreed with Camioneros to take part in the auditing of its commercial price agreement.

An agreement between the Economy Ministry and transport union Camioneros sparked controversy after the Union took part in the auditing of Fair Prices, the government’s commercial agreement underpinning current price caps. 

Last November, the “Precios Justos” (Fair Prices) program froze the value of 1,907 products and set a maximum monthly price rise of 4% for 30,000 other items until February 28, 2023. 

The policy, which was launched after a government agreement with 113 manufacturers and sellers, initially covered a basket of foods, drinks, personal hygiene, and cleaning products that are sold in 2,500 stores, supermarkets, and wholesalers across the country. Fuels were later added to the program and are subject to the 4% price increase limit.

To ensure the agreements are complied with, Interior Commerce Secretary Matías Tombolini announced that he had reached a deal with the truckers’ union, Camioneros, to help verify that products under the program were stocked in supermarkets. “Information exchange is key for agreements to be obeyed,” tweeted Tombolini. 

“That’s why the different agreements that we’ve signed include 358 companies, 12 commerce chambers, 44 consumer defense associations, 62 district governments and a joint work with 38 unions.”

Camioneros representatives said that “it’s important to help Tombolini, to make sure that all fair prices are available for Argentines’ dinner tables,” and that their role is focused on the distribution stage of products, not auditing supermarket prices. 

Led by the unionist Hugo Moyano, Camioneros is one of the most prominent unions in Argentina, with a nation-wide spread that includes goods transportation across the country. Lately, the organization has also built ties with unions close to Kirchnerism, such as bank workers, with whom they converge in the Worker’s Corriente Federal within the Central Workers’ Union (CGT).

Members from Juntos por el Cambio fueled criticism on social media against the government for allegedly creating illegal, informal bonds with the unions. On Monday morning, former Senator Elisa Carrio tweeted that she would file a lawsuit against President Fernández, Minister Massa, and Secretary Tombolini for “undermining the rule of law by instigating violence and creating vigilante groups.”Fair Prices was developed as a tool to control prices for basic products, as a way of tackling the challenges derived from inflation, which spiked to 94.8% in 2022, the highest since 1990, according to official statistics institute, INDEC.


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