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ITF backs Argentine unions in general strike

30 Apr 2019
The strike has left airports deserted

ITF-affiliated transport unions in Argentina, including the National Federation of Truck Drivers (FNTC), have joined a national strike to protest the economic, social and anti-union policies of the Argentine government and the effect they are having on workers and the general population.  

ITF unions joined other unions from the Argentine Workers' Central Union (CTA), the Argentine Workers' Central Union-Autonomous (CTA-A) and the trade union front for the national model (Fresimona). 

Workers in Argentina are facing a fall in standards of living due to economic policies that have increased inflation and basic prices, without an increase in salaries, and the unemployment rate now exceeds nine percent.  

The government have persisted with neoliberal economic policies focused on maximising profits for entrepreneurs at the expense of human rights. 

Once the general strike was announced, the government began systematic attacks on the unions and threatened to declare the action illegal.  

In the face of these anti-union attacks, the ITF executive board met in London and made a statement on April 17 2019 expressing support and solidarity for the FNTC and all participating organisations, and rejected the government attempts to threaten the right to strike that is protected by ILO convention 87 on freedom of association. 

Edgar Diaz, acting regional secretary of ITF Americas, said: "This massive mobilization is very important for workers in Argentina. It shows the government that there is a lot of opposition to the labour policies and economic conditions in the country.  

“The ITF stands in solidarity and unwaveringly supports the struggle of all the participating unions in the face of these unjust economic and social policies that are affecting all workers and their families". 

Stephen Cotton, ITF general secretary, stated that the ITF is committed to the struggle of transport workers in Argentina and all over the world to defend the basic principle of good working conditions. 

“We call on the Argentine government to listen to the demands of the workers who are fundamental to the success and progress of the country.  

“We are committed to our affiliates in Argentina, and our support and solidarity for their struggle is unconditional," concluded Mr Cotton. 

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