The powerful General Confederation of Labor (CGT) umbrella grouping – Argentina's biggest workers' union by membership – announced yesterday it will hold a 24-hour strike on Wednesday May 29, in protest at the economic and social policies of the Mauricio Macri administration.
The shutdown, which will see a "total stoppage of activities," will be the sixth strike of the government's time in office and comes just five months before key general elections. It is, however, only the fifth involving the CGT's membership and comes just two weeks after a strike called by unions aligned with veteran union leader Hugo Moyano and the CTA, in which transport unions and members of the CGT's leadership did not participate.
"It will be a total stoppage of activities," said CGT leader Héctor Daer at a press conference Tuesday, flanked by fellow union heavyweight Carlos Acuña.
Daer said that the decision had been taken "after a very deep analysis of the social and political situation in Argentina and how it affects workers, family economies and colleagues without work."
He described the decision to call a strike as a measure of strength to reject the government's policies and to protest "the acceleration of the decline of the economy."
In 2018, Argentina was gripped a recession that saw GDP contract by 2.5 percent, with unemployment rising to almost 10 percent and the poverty rate to almost 32 percent. Inflation over the last 12 months totals 54 percent.
"We seek to alter the acceleration of the decline of the economy for our colleagues and our homes, to find the point of reactivation and to look toward inclusion of all inhabitants [in Argentina]," said Daer.
"The decision is in solidarity with what is happening in the country," the union leader added, saying "at this moment there is no sector that is not affected."
Despite union leaders describing the decision to walk off the job as "unanimous," Perfil reported yesterday that some sectors were against the measure and that the decision to strike was in fact decided by a vote of the leadership.