Argy Bargy (Again)

The CTA Argentine workers’ umbrella union group yesterday staged protests, marches and walkouts across the country to demand salary increases and measures to protect workers from the effects of the global crisis. In the City of Buenos Aires, CTA’s demonstrations snarled traffic in the centre and roads into the the city for seven hours.

"If the government does not hear our demands, we will meet next week to decide a national strike before the end of the month," said CTA’s deputy leader Pedro Wasiejko. The "national day of protest" was strongly supported, he added.

"We are not going to get out of this crisis by the devaluation of the peso. If there are no underlying measures, we won’t pull out of the crisis," Yasky said and added that, although "the government is making announcements to redistribute wealth, they are not implementing them."

The CTA and the ATE civil servants union staged a protest outside City Hall in Plaza de Mayo and then participated in a larger demonstration outisde Congress in the afternoon.

The CTERA teachers’ union, health workers, and employees from the Cinema Institute and the Colón Theatre also took part in the demonstration.

Demonstrations, roadblocks and strikes were also staged in several cities of Córdoba, La Pampa, Corrientes, Santiago del Estero, Santa Cruz, Entre Ríos and Santa Fe provinces.

Meanwhile the heads of the Stock Exchange, Argentine Rural Society, Confederaciones Rurales Argentinas, Argentine Chamber of Commerce, Industrial Union, the Construction Chamber and the Association of Argentine Private Banks (ADEBA), gathered yesterday at the latter’s headquarters to discuss growing unease about the role of the state in the economy.

Also on the agenda were dubious state statistics, coercitive pressure on businessmen, obstacles to trade and the steep decline of economic activity.

It seems that nobody is happy with the way the Kirchner administration is running the shop at the moment. Certainly, this kind of turmoil isn't going to bring China rushing back to buy Argentine soybeans. The mid-term elections in Argentina are still two months away, that should keep China active in the US market a while longer yet.