A 24-hour general strike Wednesday (14 Dec), highlighted by acts of violence, slowed down most of Argentina's industry, commerce and public services.
A 24-hour general strike Wednesday (14 Dec), highlighted by acts of violence, slowed down most of Argentina's industry, commerce and public services. It was called by the Peronist-dominated General Confederation of Labor. Many of the GCL's leaders support ousted Argentina dictator Juan Peron, now living in exile.
The strike did not have great impact in the downtown areas of the nation's big cities, but many businesses were shut and many means of public transportation, bus lines, subways, and railroads did not run.
In suburban areas where many Peronists live, there were scattered reports of rock-throwing and fighting. Minutes after the strike began at midnight, a bus carrying 30 passengers in the Buenos Aires suburb of Belgrano was ambushed by three men who tossed gasoline bombs through its open windows. Eight passengers were badly burned, and two were later reported in grave condition at a hospital, Elsewhere, police found twisted nails with sharp points strewn on city streets, apparently put there by Peronists.
Throughout the day and night, police made spot checks of people in autos to cut down on acts of terrorism. People who did go to work had to finish alternate means of transportation than their usual ones, and many had to walk a good deal.
Following the tradition of Argentine governments, the regime of Lt. General Juan Carlos Ongania did not make any strong moves against the strikers. The striking were move or less left alone, as one government official put it to "get it off their chest."
As another effect of the strike, most of country's public services, including the telephone company, the hospital and the airports, were operated by supervisory personnel.
The strike was officially called by General Confederation of Labor to protest the Ongania government's "social and economic" policies.