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200,000 Argentinean workers march against dismissals and price hikes

7 September, 2016Expressing their opposition to dismissals and huge price rises during three days of protests, 200,000 workers took to the streets in a nationwide march on 2 September.

IndustriALL affiliate Federation of Energy, Industry and Service Workers (FeTIA) mobilized its members for the demonstrations that took place throughout the country, as more than 200,000 people participated in the national march.

“This is the first national march but it will not be the last. A few months after Mauricio Macri formed a government and started implementing his policies, we are taking this determined and decisive initiative,” said Pedro Wasiejko, FeTIA general secretary, as well as assistant secretary of the CTA.

During the march, speakers emphasized the importance of unity between the two major trade union centres in Argentina, CGT and the CTA, which will leave the government no alternative but to start listening to the workers.

If there is no response from the government, a national strike is scheduled for 16 September.

A report by the Centro de Economía Política Argentina (CEPA) said that 141,542 public and private sector workers were dismissed between December 2015 and March 2016 and more people are losing their job all the time. During his time at power, Macri has tried to reactivate the economy by cutting public sector jobs and reducing subsidies for energy bills and public transport.

However, the economy is at a standstill and there has been an increase in the number of unfair dismissals, while prices are continuing to rise. The unions have responded by organizing demonstrations, joining forces and calling for change.

In a meeting with the labour minister, Jorge Triaca, at the start of this year, IndustriALL’s general secretary, Jyrki Raina, warned the government not to weaken labour laws or social protection, currently among the best in Latin America.

Triaca then assured that the government would continue to consult the unions and employers in order to avoid dismissals and meet workers’ needs.

IndustriALL calls on the government to keep this promise and negotiate with workers to find solutions to these problems.