Argentina was crippled by a 48-hour general strike on Tuesday (29 February) when shipping, industry and transport services ground to a halt at midnight after a call from the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) to protest against the rocketing cost of living -- up 11.3 per cent in January.
GV PAN Deserted streets & shuttered shops (2 shots)
GV Closed banks (3 shots)
GV PAN Deserted road works & machinery (2 shots)
GV EXT. Railway station
GV Closed gates on station
GV Idle trains in station & sidings (3 shots)
GV Deserted docks
Initials SGM/2340 SGM/2333
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Background: Argentina was crippled by a 48-hour general strike on Tuesday (29 February) when shipping, industry and transport services ground to a halt at midnight after a call from the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) to protest against the rocketing cost of living -- up 11.3 per cent in January.
The CGT has a membership of 3.5 million -- about half of the country's working population -- and nearly 100 per cent loyalty in many key industries, the docks and public transport.
The Argentine Government and most observers are detecting more than a protest at the cost of living. Some hold there is a political motive behind the strike. The CGT is controlled and dominated by supporters of ex-President Juan Peron, and the strike is seen as an effort to demonstrate the support he commands among the Argentine workers.
SYNOPSIS: Buenos Aires was practically deserted on Tuesday as Argentina lapsed into a 48-hour general strike to protest over the rising cost of living. The strike, which hit industries, shipping and public transport, was called by the General Confederation of Labour which has three-and-a-half million members -- that's about half of the country's working population.
The General Confederation of Labour is demanding an all-round pay rise of about 12 pounds sterling a month. This, they say, will balance out the cost of living which, according to official figures, was up by 11.3 per cent in January.
The Government and most observers saw a political motive behind the strike. The Confederation is dominated by supporters of exiled former dictator Juan Peron, and an effective stoppage, they said, would be proof of the loyalty he still commands among the Argentine workers 16 years after his overthrow. There were reports of scattered bombings and arson, apparently an attempt by extremists to persuade a few reluctant workers to join the strike. Heavy police patrols were later to be put in force for the remaining hours of to strike.