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Sun Jul 24, 2016, 12:46 AM

Economic crisis in Argentina prompts nation's principal labor federation, the CGT, to reunify.

At a meeting held on Thursday in Buenos Aires, the leaders of the three factions of Argentina's principal labor federation, the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), agreed on a framework for reunification after four years of division.

The CGT, founded in 1930, has over 3 million members among its three factions - over half of all labor union membership in Argentina. Argentina's labor force is the most unionized, and by most measures the best paid, in Latin America.

The meeting, held at the Eva Perón Library, was attended by leaders of most of the unions that comprise the CGT, including Carlos Acuña (valets and gas station staff), Mario Caligari (bus drivers), Antonio Caló (steelworkers), Héctor Daer (health staff), Rodolfo Daer (food processing workers), Abel Frutos (bakers), Amadeo Genta (municipal staff), Omar Maturana (rail workers), Hugo Moyano (truckers), Andrés Rodríguez (civil servants), and Juan Carlos Schmidt (dredging and signal workers).

The framework would reunify the CGT under a triumvirate led by Rodolfo Daer, Juan Carlos Schmidt, and Carlos Acuña. Each represents the three CGT factions: Daer, the CGT Alsina (the largest and most politically progressive); Schmidt, the CGT Azopardo; and Acuña, the 'Blue & White' CGT (the most conservative).

The latter two factions split from the CGT after breaking with the center-left former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for largely political reasons.

Restaurant workers' union head Luis Barrionuevo, who rose through the ranks in the 1970s by way of the fascist Argentine Anticommunist Alliance paramilitary group, resented Mrs. Kirchner's leftist outlook and formed the Blue & White CGT in 2008 to protest the CGT's support for her administration. Hugo Moyano, for his part, was a staunch ally of Mrs. Kirchner until she passed him over as running mate for the 2011 elections (which she won in a landslide); he broke with the official CGT (now led by Antonio Caló) and formed the CGT Azopardo in 2012 in retaliation.

Barrionuevo and Moyano likewise broke with the CGT's longtime political ally, the Justicialist Party founded by the late populist leader Juan Perón, and instead endorsed right-wing President Mauricio Macri in last year's election. Their support proved decisive in Macri's narrow victory last November.

Macri, however, quickly reneged on reiterated campaign promises that he would not sharply devalue the peso or impose drastic public service subsidy cuts - all of which he later in fact enacted by decree. These policies earned Macri plaudits from the IMF and much of the business and right-wing press; but led to a doubling of inflation rates to 47%, a sharp recession, the loss of over 167,000 jobs in six months, and median purchasing power that has fallen by at least 11%.

CGT leaders specifically referred to the current situation as having motivated them to reunify. They announced their intention to publish a "political document" denouncing Macri's austerity policies; the document, published jointly, will be called De Mal en Peor - "From Bad to Worse."

They agreed to hold a final unification conference on August 5 in order to work out the final details of the agreement. The new CGT triumvirate would then be sworn in on August 22.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.noticiasurbanas.com.ar/noticias/la-cgt-busca-ser-una-sola-aunque-no-esten-todos/&prev=search

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Reply Economic crisis in Argentina prompts nation's principal labor federation, the CGT, to reunify. (Original post)
forest444 Jul 2016 OP
Judi Lynn Jul 2016 #1
forest444 Jul 2016 #2

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Mon Jul 25, 2016, 05:17 AM

1. Clearly it's a big moment when the polarized factions join each other for a common purpose.

I truly hope it will assist their goals.

Thank you!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 25, 2016, 02:12 PM

2. Labor helped elect Macri b/c their leadership put political score-settling above workers' well-being

Now, of course, they have tons of egg on their face.

Nevertheless, I'm glad they listened to their membership and decided to join forces to stand up to this administration - ideological heirs of the same dictatorship (Videla) that decimated labor and industry, walloped real pay by 40%, and killed thousands of labor union members at the time.

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