Argentina’s CGT calls for a general strike on May 9

It will be the second since President Javier Milei took office


Argentina’s biggest trade union federation, the General Confederation of Labor (CGT by its Spanish acronym), called for a general strike on May 9 to protest President Javier Milei’s austerity measures.

The protest, slated to last 24 hours, would be the second general strike since Milei took office on December 10. The CGT will also join a protest against the slashing of state university budgets on April 23 and hold the traditional May 1 march for International Workers’ Day. 

“Austerity should not fall to the most vulnerable sectors,” Héctor Daer, head of the health care workers’ union and one-third of the CGT triumvirate, said in a press conference on Thursday. He highlighted that pensioners are bearing the brunt of the administration’s austerity measures and said a recession is behind the decrease in monthly inflation rates.

One of the main reasons Daer gave for the strike was the Labor Secretariat not validating the increases agreed in the collective bargains between unions and companies over the inflation rate. The powerful truck drivers’ union got a 25% increase for March and 20% more for April, but the administration refuses to make the increases official.

“Why would you validate something that is going to create a problem?” Economy Minister Luis Caputo said in an interview on TN TV station, arguing that salaries increasing over projected inflation would push prices upwards. “If you tell me it is a point or two above the inflation expectation, then great. If it is 15 points it makes no sense,” he said.

On Wednesday, Daer, together with fellow union leaders Carlos Acuña and Hugo Moyano, met with Interior Minister Guillermo Francos and Chief of Staff Nicolás Posse to discuss the validation of the wage rounds. A spokesperson for Francos said the meeting was cordial, but the administration would not validate any wage increases over inflation.

Daer said that the unions are willing to discuss strategies to decrease the inflation rates with the government, but protested against the one Milei’s administration chose. “We can’t deregulate every [price] and limit salaries,” he said.

The first general strike under Milei happened on January 24 and, according to CGT’s spokesperson Jorge Sola, between 70 and 80% of the country’s workers adhered to it, and one and a half million people marched all over Argentina.


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