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Day of demonstrations by unionists repudiates Milei measures

Buenos Aires. In the midst of the offensive of Argentine unionism against the adjustment plan of President Javier Milei, the union of state employees carried out a strike on Wednesday while dozens of dismissed workers entered ministries and other public organizations where they held assemblies to define next protest measures. .

The Association of State Workers (ATE) led the day of mobilization against the ultraliberal president’s policies of sharp cuts in public spending, which have generated some 15,000 layoffs at different levels of the State. Trade union organizations belonging to two combative union centers joined the protest.

In Buenos Aires, the epicenter of the demonstrations, hundreds of workers, many of them fired in the months after Milei took office in December, gathered near the Ministry of Labor and then entered its facilities to demand the reinstatement of 520 fired from their jobs. Rodolfo Aguiar, general secretary of ATE, proposed holding a national strike “before the end of this week.”

The unionist urged “to deepen the plan of struggle until we prevent them from continuing to adjust us.”

During the day, protesters also entered the Ministry of Health and Interior, as well as the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (Inadi). It is also expected that they will enter the headquarters of other portfolios.

Several official facilities were heavily guarded by the police within the framework of the severe measures applied by the government to prevent the occupation of streets and public spaces during the protests.

At Inadi, whose closure the government has announced, former employees struggled with the police in their attempt to enter the building.

Finally, several achieved it, among them the lawyer Florencia Ugarte, 50, who for 14 years has been assisting people who have reported being victims of discrimination.

Ugarte told The Associated Press that last Wednesday about 50 colleagues received emails announcing that their employment contracts were not going to be renewed. She indicated that it is very likely that she will be part of the next round of layoffs.

The lawyer pointed out that Inadi has received numerous complaints from migrants, people with disabilities and those with different sexual orientation or gender identity and regretted that the organization is going to disappear. “They have us without doing tasks. People no longer come to report. They have cut off (the phone line) where you can do it. “They are emptying the body,” said Ugarte.

ATE denounced that “the ultra-neoliberal and neo-fascist government of Javier Milei… is destroying extremely sensitive public policies” and that “the scrapping of (the Ministry of) Labor is a first step in a greater attack against rights and jobs of workers in the private and public sectors in general.”

According to Aguiar, the government “attacks the right to stability in public employment” which is safeguarded by law.

The Executive has reported that 15 thousand public sector contracts have been canceled as of March 31.

Milei maintains that the Argentine State is oversized and that it is necessary to cut personnel within the framework of its objective of maintaining zero deficit by eliminating many positions that it considers were appointed due to political affinity in previous administrations. The unions maintain that the cuts are mostly ending the jobs of people who adequately carry out their tasks.

Presidential spokesman Manuel Adorni pointed out that the layoffs are “part of the work we are doing to reduce State expenses.” The official said that the people whose contracts were not renewed “perhaps did not have a very defined job and on the other side there are a paying taxpayer.”

The government affirms that its orthodox policies have achieved financial surpluses in the last two months. “There has been a reduction in public spending of 5 points of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) only in Treasury expenses and a drop in primary State spending in real terms of 40%,” Adorni noted days ago.

He noted that of the more than 70 thousand (labor) contracts reviewed in the public sector, 15 thousand were canceled – which does not include public companies and the National Institute of Social Services for Retirees and Pensioners – and the rest “will be renewed for six months”, although “progress will continue in the analysis of each one.”

The adjustment promoted by Milei generated a national strike by the General Confederation of Labor – the main union center – at the end of January and other protest measures by unions from different sectors. The main teaching union will hold a new strike on Thursday to demand the restitution of a public fund for that sector.

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– 2024-04-06 03:43:58

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