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ARGENTINA | 09-07-2021 00:01

Unions seek places on Frente de Todos lists as PASO deadline nears

With the deadline for defining candidates drawing near, union leaders are once again seeking representation on the Peronist coalition’s slates.

As in every election in Argentina, with the closure of midterm lists now just a fortnight away, trade union leaders are once again pushing for their place on party slates, especially those of Frente de Todos – although there might not be room for all the internal lines into which the labour movement is divided.

Although rivals within the CGT umbrella union grouping, both co-secretary-general Héctor Daer and the teamster Hugo Moyano have agreed on one thing at least in recent days – guaranteed places for trade unionists in the ruling party’s lists of candidates are a must.

"Of course there has to be trade union leaders " on Frente de Todos lists for Congress, said Daer this week, to which Moyano rejoined: "There’s bound to be some trade union candidate." 

An enormous majority of the internal lines co-existing within the CGT support Frente de Todos, the ruling Peronist coalition, while both the CTA labour umbrellas are also allies of President Alberto Fernández, thus ruling out all trade union sectors being happy with the distribution of candidacies.

The "gordos (“fat ones”) and independents heading the CGT, Moyano’s people, the Corriente Federal; SEMUN (Sindicatos en Marcha por la Unidad Nacional) and the two CTAs (Trabajadores and Autónoma) are only some of the sectors of the labour movement angling for at least one seat. There does not seem to be room for everybody.

The names include CTA de los Trabajadores chief Hugo Yasky, who has been busy in recent weeks seeking support among the municipal unions to retain his seat by proposing to them collective bargaining on a nationwide scale for a municipal pay floor along the lines of his own teacher unions.

Prominent among Moyano supporters is Unión Ferroviaria railway union chief Sergio Sasia, the new ally of the teamsters in their tussle to seize control of the CGT in the upcoming elections for the umbrella labour federation. Some days ago, Sasia met up with Frente de Todos caucus chief Máximo Kirchner – this Moyano man might well end up laying claim to a seat in Congress.

But other rumours point to the chances of the teamsters favouring the Moyano surname for the lists, namely the veteran labour leader’s daughter Karina, currently gender secretary in her father’s union.

Other names pushing hard are Juan Pablo Brey (airline cabin staff’s unión) and deputy Omar Plaini (newsvendors), whose seats come up for re-election this year. From the social organisations Daniel ‘Chuky’ Menéndez (Libres del Sur and a Social Development Ministry official) is also on the campaign trail.

Yet who might be the representative of the CGT leadership on the Frente de Todos slate remains an unknown. Its leaders have a better relationship with President Fernández than with Kirchnerism. The presence of trade union leaders elsewhere beyond the ruling coalition’s lists remains a question-mark.

It does not seem probable that there will be any in the lists of Juntos por el Cambio and ditto for dissident Peronist Florencio Randazzo, whose phrase – "trade unionism is part of the problem" – in Argentina triggered fierce criticism from various representatives of the sector.

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by Santiago Pérez Chiconi, NA

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