Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Hundreds of Thousands of Workers Protest Layoffs in Argentina

On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of workers participated in a massive labor march called for by the major Argentine unions.

Facebook Twitter Share

It has been a summer of resistance in Argentina. In late December, there were massive mobilizations well into the night against a pension reform law that was eventually passed. In January, the resistance continued, although on a smaller scale. Workers have resisted the mass layoffs of the right wing Cambiemos government. For example, miners in Rio Tubrio voted to go on strike, occupy the mine and engage in road blockages. In Buenos Aires, workers at the Posadas hospital organized large mobilizations outside the hospital and blocked one of the major roads in Buenos Aires. Many small workplace mobilizations like this have sprung up across the nation.

Finally, the union leadership called for protests responding to the combative will of their base. The protest was organized first by the Truck Drivers Union, with several other sectors joining. The protest was against layoffs and against the pension reform law.

Hundreds of thousands of workers mobilized on Wednesday, February 21 against the Macri government’s austerity policies. The march was called by the leader of the truck workers union, but found support in sectors of the CGT (Central General de Trabajadores – General Confederation of Workers) and different sectors of the CTA (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos), which represents public sector workers. While the union leadership denounced the government but would not announce a plan to combat President Macri’s policies.

The most combative unions and left parties participated in an independent contingent that demanded that the unions make a plan for struggle and organize a general strike to defeat the austerity measures. These sectors participated independently in order to demonstrate their support for their struggle, but not lend support to a union leadership that has dragged its feet to put up a fight against austerity.

The independent block included Rio Turbio miner workers, La Esperanza sugar mill workers, Diario Hoy journalists, Pepsico workers and the fired workers of Posadas Hospital. More combative groups, such as the Suteba’s teacher unions, the Railroad workers, CICOP and STS (health) Ceramist workers from Neuquén province, and the SUTNA (tire workers’ union), also mobilized within the contingent. The workers were joined by Left and the Workers’ Front members of congress such as Nicolás del Caño and Myriam Bregman.

The contingent was led by a banner that read: “Reinstate the workers, stop the austerity plan, organize a general strike, plan the struggle.”

The speeches by union bureaucrats sharply contrasted with the demands of the crowd. The union leaders talked tough but did not even try to lay out a plan for how to confront the layoffs and austerity measures. This was exemplified by Hugo Moyano, the leader of Argentina’s largest labor union, the CGT. After speaking against austerity, he said, “We did not come to threaten the government: we do not want to cause instability.” He stressed that this was “a peaceful march where we came to express how we feel.”

Although we can appreciate the pictures of hundreds of thousands people filling avenues and streets, thousands of workers were could not come because there was no call to strike. Some unions in the CGT did not even allow a short stoppage for the workers to attend the march and express their opposition to the national government.

This is why the left is building a strong workers movement independent for the union bureaucrats who shy away from a struggle. The Macri government has demonstrated that they can and will implement austerity despite the mobilizations of the people.

Facebook Twitter Share

La Izquierda Diario Argentina

Our Argentinian sister site, part of the international network of La Izquierda Diario

Latin America

Woman holds a yellow sign that says "Nueva constitucion" in black text and another person is holding a yellow sign behind her that reads "No violencia clasista"

‘Boric Has Strengthened the Right-Wing Opposition’: Interview with a Chilean Socialist

In Chile, the illusion of winning the battle against neoliberalism in parliament has been shattered. We interviewed Chilean socialist Dauno Totoro about the recent rejection of a proposed constitution and the need to fight for a revolutionary, internationalist, and socialist Left.

Left Voice

September 25, 2022
Chilean president Gabriel Boric

Chileans Reject Proposed Constitution

On Sunday, Chileans overwhelmingly rejected a new proposed constitution. The result reflects both a rightward shift in Chile and disillusionment with President Gabriel Boric.

Otto Fors

September 6, 2022
Protesters in Puerto Rico in Old San Juan in the dark. Protesting LUMA private electricity company.

Police Repress Protest in Puerto Rico as People Continue to Demand End of Contract with LUMA

Puerto Ricans are protesting constant power outages, after their electrical grid was partially privatized. They are demanding that the private electric company, LUMA, have its contract canceled. In response, they have faced repression and police brutality.

Raura Doreste

August 29, 2022

Cops Out of Martial Arts: You Can’t Make “More Humane” Agents of State Terror

Leandro Lo, a world champion in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, was recently shot and killed by an off-duty cop in Brazil. Martial arts coaches and practitioners often welcome cops into their spaces, saying they’re then less likely to use deadly force. Let’s be clear: cops have no place in martial arts schools

Mike Pappas

August 10, 2022

MOST RECENT

School bus with Land Back banner blocks roadway

Canadian Land Defenders Continue Struggle Against Illegal Developments

The long struggle of land defenders from Six Nations has entered a critical phase in the legal battle with a real estate development company building illegally on their land. The history of this recent struggle contains many important lessons for socialists and labor activists across the continent, especially working class solidarity with such movements.

Matthew Walters

September 30, 2022
Mourners weep over the dead body of Rayan Suleiman

Seven-Year-Old Rayan Suleiman Latest Victim of Israeli Occupation

Rayan Suleiman's death reveals the fear and terror under which Palestinian Children live in the occupied territories.

Luigi Morris

September 30, 2022

Tunisians Protest IMF-Led Austerity

Tunisians took to the streets this week against food shortages and price hikes on fuel. This comes as resistance to austerity is growing internationally.

Sam Carliner

September 30, 2022
All That's Left, the podcast from Left Voice.

#AllThatsLeftPod: Elections in Brazil

In this episode of the podcast, we talk about the upcoming general elections in Brazil, including Bolsonaro’s legacy, what a Lula presidency would look like, and what the tasks are for the Left going forward.

Left Voice

September 27, 2022