Labour troubles continue to beset Argentina. Though the General Workers' Confederation has forced the government?
Labour troubles continue to beset Argentina. Though the General Workers' Confederation has forced the government to approve wage increases of up to 150 per cent, there are still some sectors of industry that have not settled pay claims sufficient to offset Argentina's inflationary spiral.
On Friday (25 July), technicians in the metal-working industry went on strike, and 5,000 of them marched through Buenos Aires in a noisy protest against President Peron's Government.
Their discontent derives from the failure of their Association to agree satisfactory pay increases with the employers.
With the city still tense from a series of overnight bomb attacks and shooting incidents at police stations, Friday's protest march was tightly patrolled by security forces -- including units of the new anti-guerrilla police contingent, formed especially to stop strike disorders and guerrilla attacks.
At one point, a police cordon stopped the march and only allowed it to continue after the technicians' leaders had agreed to certain conditions. The marchers were halted again by police before they were allowed to chant their grievances outside the Labour Ministry.
Experts predict that the recent capitulation of the government to union pressure for huge wage increases can only aggravate the present situation in Argentina. Employers warn that 100 per cent increases in import and labour costs in the past month, allied to the credit squeeze and reduced output caused by strikes and stoppages, have put industry in a grave condition.