One-day train strike in Argentina as rail staff demand pay talks

The stoppage, which began at midnight on Wednesday, will affect all services except long-distance routes

The La Fraternidad railway workers’ union has been carrying out a 24-hour train strike since midnight that affects the entire railway service, except for long-distance transfers to Rosario, Mar del Plata, Tucumán, and Córdoba.

The strike is to demand pay rises to compensate for inflation.

In Buenos Aires and the surrounding areas, its impact was reflected in long lines of passengers and delays at bus stops, especially in Retiro and Constitución.

The Argentine Association of Motor Transport Entrepreneurs (AAETA) said Wednesday morning that bus services near railway services were being boosted.

“All precautions are being taken within our reach given this contingency on suburban railway services,” AAETA posted on X.

The General Secretary of the Railway Drivers’ Union “La Fraternidad,” Omar Maturano, said this morning that workers in the sector have a “strong commitment” to the one-day rail strike, which started at midnight.

“The strike is total and is an example of organized labor,” said Maturano. He confirmed that union representatives would participate in a meeting called by the Labor Ministry starting at 10 a.m. at its headquarters in downtown Buenos Aires.

Other rail unions have also been invited, including the Union Ferroviaria (UF), the Association of Personnel of Direction of the Argentine Railways and Ports (APDFA), and the Argentine Association of Railway Signalmen (ASFA).

“It is much better when there is dialogue between the parties,” Maturano said of the meeting, confirming that the union would participate.

The union representing the train drivers blamed the government for the strike saying it had failed to facilitate conciliation talks.

The Labor Department’s summons is “to continue with pending negotiations, hoping to be able to reach an agreement there that makes it possible to sustain the purchasing power of wages in this difficult economic situation” for the period March 2023-April 2024, the unions wrote in a press release.

The Transport Secretariat confirmed the hearing and announced that the unions in this sector, including La Fraternidad, are invited to the Labor Ministry meeting. 

It noted that workers received a 16% pay rise at the beginning of February.

In a statement, Transport criticized the strike called by La Fraternidad, in contrast to other railway unions.

“The strike by La Fraternidad is incomprehensible, as it shows bad faith in negotiations since the collective bargaining negotiations are currently in force, and even reached positive results at the beginning of the month,” the Secretariat wrote in the text.



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