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ECONOMY | 30-08-2018 15:27

Rumblings of union activity intensify as Argentina slides into economic uncertainty

Hugo Moyano split from the CGT confederation on Monday. He and his allies have cited the CGT leadership's perceived submissiveness toward the Mauricio Macri government as motives to form a political movement before the 2019 general and presidential elections.

As the dollar skyrocketed against the peso on Thursday, the rumblings of imminent and intense union activity are growing in Argentina. 

University professors and non-teaching staff readied for a massive nationwide protest on Thursday. Teachers in Buenos Aires province walked off the job this week, following months of failed collective wage bargaining talks with the Vidal government.

All the while, the powerful union kingpin Hugo Moyano announced he was splitting from the CGT union confederation.

Moyano, who is under fire for alleged corruption, and his allies have cited the CGT leadership's perceived submissiveness toward the Mauricio Macri government as motives to form a political movement before the 2019 general and presidential elections.

The CGT was not "active in any recent conflicts like the teachers', shipyards and so on. The CGT is not meeting its obligations to workers", the head of the powerful Teamsters' Union Pablo Moyano, Hugo Moyano's son, told Perfil. His father quit the confederation's board of directors on Monday.

"We (the teamsters) are not leaving the CGT. We belong to the confederation", Moyano clarified. "We are demanding new leadership and some comrades will participate in the next summit to demand a plan of strike action".

The Macri administration and allies are standing firm as unions reorganise while at the same time flexing their muscles.

The government has committed to implementing tough austerity measures in order to appease the the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which granted the country a US$50-billion stand-by loan package in June.

Some major Cambiemos (Let's Change) coalition members have conceded the near-term future looks bleak for Argentines.

"We are currently facing difficulties, and not recognising this would deny and invalidate what every-day Argentines are currently experiencing", said Buenos Aires province Governor María Eugenía Vidal.

"When one sees the dollar, one worries. We have had some difficult months but we also know that the following months are going to be even harder", she warned.

On Thursday, university professors, non-teaching staff and student federations were set to march on Plaza de Mayo. Thousands more people are expected to join as general malaise grows over the country's economic future.

-TIMES

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