A twenty-four hour strike against government economic policy in Argentina on Friday (27 April) disrupted railway services, paralysed the port of Buenos Aires, and hit industrial activities around the capital.
A twenty-four hour strike against government economic policy in Argentina on Friday (27 April) disrupted railway services, paralysed the port of Buenos Aires, and hit industrial activities around the capital. But the strike, declared illegal by the military government, was hardly felt elsewhere in Argentina.
SYNOPSIS: Two of the nine railway lines with terminals in Buenos Aires suspended all services. However, buses ran to normal schedules, and city authorities eased traffic restrictions to cope with an influx of private cars.
The strike was called by the Committee of Twenty-Five, one of Argentina's two largest labour movements. It has blamed government policies for an inflation rate which last year soared above one hundred and sixty percent.
But the strike was not as effective as the leaders had hoped. While some industries in the capital were forced to close, others kept going, although with a reduced workforce. The failure to force a total shutdown of industry was partly due to the Government's arresting thirty strike leaders. Nine were later released after declaring their opposition to the strike, according to government officials.
Union activities have been banned in Argentina since the military seized power three years ago, but the detention of twenty-one strike leaders has caused international consternation. A number of world labour leaders have condemned the arrests, and in Washington, the U.S. State Department said that they violated trade union rights. Although it did not support the strike, the National Labour Commission, the other major factions in Argentina's split union movement, also condemned the arrests.