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The agreement between Mercosur and the European Union has evoked disparate reactions in the world of organised labour. Every sector of the economy raised concerns, but the leadership of the CGT (General Confederation of Labor of the Argentine Republic) requested information and insisted, before a direct rejection, in the necessity that the deal be implemented by a government of another political stripe.
In contrast, the Frente Sindical – and with special emphasis from "moyanism," led by the Moyanos – criticised the measure as part of a plan to implement labor reform - a criticism shared by the CTA.
Before a meeting that featured representatives from the CGT and the CTA with the Ministry of Production and Labour, Dante Sica, last Wednesday, the workers from the CGT had succeeded in obtaining information about the agreement through contacts with European workers.
Gerardo Martínez, central secretary of international relations and member of the International Organisation of Labour (ILO), was charged with obtaining the information and preparing a report. In the report, he described the main points of the deal as "it's what it does not say" and "what is hidden."
For example, he said of relief for the automotive sector that the deal "awaits a displacement of the terminals to Brazil, and an entrance of European automotive sector imports will directly affect the autoparts sector."
At the end of his report, he indicated that syndicates should sustain the demand for a "Labour Forum," where, the text indicates, "syndicates and business chambers participate to permanently follow- up on the evolution of destruction, reconversion and the creation of quality employment. "
Speaking with Perfil, the chief of the CGT, Hector Daer, explained that the agreement will take effect in "one or two years," making it "more necessary than ever" to have "a peronist government."
In his view, the situation requires "a government that has a social viewpoint to see the transition towards the entry with force," warning that if "there is not a social viewpoint, it runs the risk that the people disappear into regional economies that are not going to be favorable."
He also said that organised labour "should take all the necessary securities" before "ratifying the agreement."
On it's part, the Frente Sindical released a press release last week saying "this insensitive government, of the rich and for the rich, continues undaunted with an economic policy that makes our country invisible."
They then stated that the government "against the clock wants to sign free trade agreements that imply not only economic dependance, if not the loss of national sovereignty like the pre-agreement signed with the European Union, and now intend the same with the United States in the best design of ALCA, which we defeated in 2005. "
A day before, labour leader Pablo Moyano had declared that he rejected the "agreement between Mercosur and the European Union, that surely comes from the hand of labour reform, which is the objective of the government."