Fired state employees to reenter workplaces in massive protest against layoffs

Argentina's State Workers Association has registered up to 11,000 public sector layoffs over the past week

Fired state employees grouped within the union State Workers Association (ATE by its Spanish initials) sought to enter their workplaces on Wednesday in a massive protest against the 15,000 layoffs registered over the past week. The union said its members were protesting because they consider the dismissals to be “illegal.”

In many state dependencies, however, the move was met by police officers, who stopped them from going inside. “They are filling public offices with police,” ATE leader Rodolfo Aguiar posted on X. “There’s no money for food or medicine, but there is money for repression.”

News channel C5N showed how a group of workers managed to enter the National Institute against Discrimination and Racism (INADI, for its Spanish initials), but were stopped by federal police in the hallway. President Javier Milei has vowed to close the INADI.

The only other building the Herald could confirm employees managed to enter is the Kirchner Cultural Center, better known as CCK.

Police presence was also seen in the labor secretariat, the foreign ministry, the ex ESMA and Conicet, Argentina’s public research council, among others.

A new wave of state layoffs took place last week as thousands of temporary contracts scheduled to end on March 31 were not renewed. However, due to the long weekend that went on from Thursday to Tuesday, fired employees got their dismissal notifications before Holy Week.

Presidential Spokesman Manuel Adorni confirmed there were 15,000 dismissals. He added that anyone who entered public buildings illegally “will suffer the corresponding consequences.”

“We are suffering tremendous levels of aggression,” Aguiar said. “The attack against our rights is unheard of.” 

ATE leaders and representatives will gather on Wednesday afternoon to debate whether  they would carry out a strike or other measures to protest the layoffs.

Aguiar said that “firing so many workers that entire offices have to close,” such as social security agency Anses, “greatly harm the right to social security.” He added that this is also affecting other “essential services” such as education, healthcare, food security, and the prevention of meteorological catastrophes due to the layoffs in the National Meteorological Service.


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