Argentina's industrial crisis worsened on Thursday (July 3) as unionists heeded calls to go on strike in a number of major centres.
Argentina's industrial crisis worsened on Thursday (July 3) as unionists heeded calls to go on strike in a number of major centres. Heavy industry in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Santa Fe and Salta is not functioning and Cordoba has virtually come to a standstill.
The strikes followed a decision by President Maria Estela Peron to veto freely negotiated wage rises which would have given many unionists increases of around one hundred per cent. To date there has been no sign of a compromise as leaders of unions, Parliament and the President meet to work out a solution.
The unions want the President to reverse her decision not to allow the wage rises. So far she has refused to alter her position and says she will only allow a uniform 50 per cent wage increase.
The unions threaten to call another general strike....the second in a week. President Peron finds herself in a difficult situation. She has been in power for only a year....and her major support comes from the unionists.
SYNOPSIS: Hundreds of people gathered outside a Cathedral in Buenos Aires on Wednesday to show their support for President maria Estela Peron...at the centre of a massive industrial crisis facing Argentina.
The Argentine unions have called for support from members to press President Peron to reverse a decision not to allow freely-negotiated pay rises of around one hundred per cent. The President said she would allow no more than 50 per cent increases. Hundreds of workers attempted to make their way into Buenos Aires on Thursday to take part in demonstrations against the Government. Strict security was imposed in the city and along highways leading into it.
The present crisis is the worst the President has faced in her one year in office. Traditionally the unions are the strongest of the Peronist supporters, but her refusal to grant the one hundred per cent wage increases has weakened her position....and support.
Finance Minister Lopez Rega has become a very popular effigy to burn. Soon after his appointment a few months ago he devalued the peso by fifty percent.....then he refused to endorse the freely worked-out wage agreements. The unions called for his dismissal, but the President -- by backing his move -- has shown she intends his to stay. This has led to further troubles. Senor Lopez is known to have a number of tough economic measures in mind to stem Argentina's huge inflation rate. Talks between the union leaders, the President and leading Ministers have been going on to find a solution to the problems. Meantime the unionists have been staging a serious of strikes in many major centres....and threaten to increase their action.