The Oil and Private Gas Union of Río Negro, Neuquén and La Pampa announced on Sunday a total strike for next Wednesday in support of Segio Massa’s measures, in order to normalise the sale of fuel, while accusing companies of the sector of “punishing Argentines” and warned that “time’s up for speculators."
“In addition to unconditionally backing the closing of exports announced by Massa for midnight on Tuesday, if the companies continue to punish Argentines our union will start a total strike affecting production effective on Wednesday," the union announced via a press release.
The union expressed “its full support for the measures established by Economy minister Sergio Massa to normalise the fuel sales sector across the nation and the announcement of an increase in the biofuel cuts in petrol and diesel oil”.
Moreover, they pointed out that “it must be made clear that operators, refiners and exporters are not complying with the scope of National Law 17,319 which advocates self-supply and helps export the remainder with significant profits.
On the other hand, the union believed that “it makes no sense to permanently speak of record production and have a shortage of fuel at the same time."
“Us workers know about sacrifices and effort to keep the country standing. Day after day we put our bodies on the line to break those records in spite of everything we’ve been through. And we see profits always going to the same people: those who are speculating now and show their true colours: greed”, they added.
“Electoral matters and corporate speculation cannot hold an entire country hostage. There’s no room for opportunists and petty people in the future Argentina. Starting at 6 am on Wednesday we will halt all activities in the Neuquén watershed. We’re 25,000 workers defending a whole country!”, they concluded.
Oil companies have promised to normalise the fuel supply over the next few days, while there are still long car queues at petrol stations.
Through a press release, companies YPF, Axion, Raízen and Trafigura clarified that the situation “will normalise over the next few days”, and in line with what the Government already said, that the petrol supply suffered a series of events over the last few days which have pushed them to the limit of their capacity.
Among these events, they mentioned “(i) extraordinary demand levels, especially in the last fortnight -long weekend, an election with peak mobility, start of sowing time, among others, (ii) greater dependency than usual on fuel imports due to programmed halts in some refineries, and (iii) more recently, excessive demand caused by an expectation of shortages."