Argentina’s Unemployed Workers Organization (Polo Obrero), Standing Neighborhoods and other social organizations and unions carried out Tuesday a nation-wide day of protest against President Mauricio Macri and his neoliberal policies.
“We call both unemployed and employed people, the whole working class, to take to the streets so as to exercise their right to protest,” Argentine Tire Workers Union (SUTNA) leader Alejandro Crespo said.
Citizens demand the reopening of labor negotiations, inflation-adjusted wages, decent jobs, higher monetary transfers to retirees and improvements to social programs so that the Argentinian people can afford at least the basic food basket, as local media El Destape reported.
Social movements and trade union organizations announced that rallies will be held in 20 Argentinian provinces starting at noon on Tuesday.
Protesters will block the access roads to Buenos Aires through demonstrations at the Pueyrredon Bridge, Saavedra Bridge and the Liniers neighborhood.
Road blocks are also expected at the provinces of Santa Cruz, Tierra del Fuego, Chubut, Rio Negro, Neuquen, Mendoza, Cordoba, Entre Rios, Santa Fe, Corrientes, Misiones, Chaco, Salta, Jujuy, Santiago del Estero, Tucuman, La Rioja and San Juan.
In Buenos Aires, citizens will gather at 4:00 pm local time in the Argentinian Industrial Union (UIA), an organization which groups industrial chambers and companies. From there they will march to the Plaza de Mayo where they plan to perform a closing act.
A few hours before workers announced their protests, presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez, who won the primary with 47.78 percent of the vote and remains the favorite to win in the Oct. 27 polls, asked social movements to remain calm. The depth of the economic crisis, however, leads them towards a different direction.
New data on the labor market data were released on Monday, showing that unemployment reached 10.6 percent at the end of July, which represents the highest rate reached since 2006. But such a figure might be worst.
According to the Latin American Economic Research Foundation (FIEL) Chief economist Juan Luis Bour, the new Argentinian government will inherit even higher unemployment figures.
“The economy is not recovering. Employment will hardly grow in the third and fourth quarters because the level of economic activity will be lower,” Bour told El Perfil and explained that uncertainty about the current situation is increasing, which leads in turn to more credit contraction “and, therefore, less production.”