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Argentina: Nationwide Strike and roadblocks in access highways to Buenos Aires

As announced yesterday by rank-and-file delegates and left unionists, the national strike day began with road blocks at highways and bridges that link surrounding areas to the city.

Moisés Schlank

March 31, 2015
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Panamericana highway

The roadblock started early this morning, at 5 AM, at Panamericana in front of Lear Corporation.

At the Northern Area in Greater Buenos Aires, fighting unionists and rank-and-file delegates from Lear, Donnelley, Kraft, Pepsico, Stani, Fate and many other factories and companies, alongside with teachers and students, blocked the Panamericana.
At Lear factory gates, fighting workers talked to La Izquierda Diario. “This place is where we must be today. This company is a symbol of a tough fight, our fight for reinstallation. That is why former Donnelley’s workers joined us here today”.

Workers of Lear Corporation were joined by Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Alicorp, teachers from SUTEBA Tigre, students’ unions from Philosophy, Sociology and Psichology colleges from Buenos Aires University.

Rubén Matu, Lear workers’ delegate said that, at a meeting last Saturday at Madygraf (former Donnelley), “We decided this action to demand all workers’ rights. Wages are no profit, that is why we reject the workers’ income taxes. Today we are in front of Lear Corporation to demand the reinstallation of dismissed workers; and we are demanding also MadyGraf (former Donnelley) expropriation. These three are the main struggles at the Northern Area today, and these are our demands at the national strike.”

About Lear corporation, Matu said: “We know the factory isn’t working as usual, and we don’t think workers will show to work today. Workers have decided to support the strike, the highway is empty, and there are no buses; workers didn’t show to work. Factories are stopped”.

Javier “Poke” Hermosilla, from shop-steward committee at Kraft, said they are at Panamericana supporting the strike and they are blocking the highway because there a lot of demands that need to be taken in account, not only the income tax. “In the food industry, we need a contract update, we need to end with labor precarization, and layoffs. We had assemblies at the factory and we had a vote to join the strike. We even forced, with these meetings, that the general secretary of the union join the strike.”

Pueyrredon Bridge

At 6 AM, workers, fighting unions and the Left and Workers’ Front blocked the Pueyrredon Bridge, which links the surrounding southern areas to the city.

Workers from oil company Shell, Calsa and many other factories joined the roadblock. Shell’s workers demand the reinstatement of dismissed workers. Railroad workers also joined the strike, even when union bureaucrats never called an assembly or a simple vote on the strike.

Patricio del Corro, legislator elected from Left and Workers’ Front, said they were supporting the strike alongside “workers from Shell, Calsa and other companies; high school students unions from the Southern area. We are not only rejecting the income tax; we are protesting today because one in three workers in Argentina has no benefits or union rights”.

Yesterday, rank-and-file delegates and left unionists had announced roadblocks. The press conference was held by Claudio Dellecarbonara (Subway), Javier “Poke” Hermosilla (Kraft-Terrabusi), Jorge Medina (former Donnelley), and national deputy Nicolás del Caño and state legislator from Buenos Aires Christian Castillo, both from Left and Workers’ Front, within others.

Actions planned for today:
Greater Buenos Aires

Panamericana, Lear factory

5AM: Shop-steward committees from Mondelez Pacheco (former Kraft) and PepsiCo, rank and file delegates from Mondelez Victoria (former Stani), delegates from teachers’ union from Tigre and Escobar districts, workers from SMATA, dismissed workers from Gestamp, workers from Johnson Controls, Volskwagen, Printpack, Fate, WordColor and General Mills.

Pueyrredón Bridge

6 AM: Workers’ Committee from Shell, Honda and Calsa, airport workers from de Ezeiza, delegates from Coca Cola (Alcorta), railroad workers, teachers and university students’ unions.

La Plata

7 AM: Shipyard Rio Santiago, public workers unions, and university students’ federation.

Rosario

6 AM: Roadblock at Santa Fe Highway, at Liliana factory gates.

Neuquén

11 AM: Roadblock at Cipolletti-Neuquén bridge, Ceramic workers Union, teachers’ unions, and health workers.

There will be roadblocks also in Cordoba, Jujuy, and Tucuman.

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