May 18, 2013
IDEA ColloquyThursday, October 14, 2010
'Workers' 35% salary increase is deteriorated'
By Liliana Franco, from Mar del Plata
Inflation and its consequent demands for wage increase are the main concerns of the local businessmen attending the IDEA Colloquy 2010. The current division in the local trade union movement is another concern for the business sector. General Labour Confederation (CGT) Secretary-General Hugo Moyano runs the organization almost by himself and is clearly opposed to the so-called "fat cats" union bosses.
Meanwhile, other combatant union sectors, such as those gathering workers of Kraft Foods or Metrovías Subway Company, begin to emerge in the local scene.
Considering the imminent presidential elections, the business sector is aware of the fact that local unions will harden their demands for wage increase, and that the government -despite fiercely defending a 8.9 percent inflation rate estimated in the 2011 Budget- will ignore the claims exceeding a 25 percent increase.
In this context, the statements issued by Luis Barrionuevo, who heads the dissident Blue and White CGT, are particularly concerning. According to the unionist, the 35 percent wage increase obtained by his sector has already lost its purchasing power owing to the current inflation rate.
Barrionuevo also said that many workers are to take part in the public demonstration supporting pensioners' demands, since increasing pensions to equal 82 percent of the minimum wage "is a right that involves all Argentine workers."
The most relevant parts of the dialogue with Luis Barrionuevo are detailed below.
Journalist: In your opinion, who will be the next presidential candidate representing the Peronist Party?
Luis Barrionuevo: I don't think the next Peronist candidate will be a member of the Kirchnerite sector, because neither Néstor nor Cristina Kirchner has any change of running the country in 2011. The Peronist Party will seek unity and choose a presidential candidate.
J: This Friday, General Labour Confederation (CGT) Secretary-General Hugo Moyano is to stage a public demonstration commemorating ‘Loyalty Day' and the "fat cats" union bosses have already announced they will not attend the event.
L. B.: The "fat cats" union bosses have been skipping CGT's meeting for a long time. Moyano only meets with taxi drivers' union Secretary Omar Viviani. The "fat cats" union bosses have political skills and know the Kircherns and Moyano are over.
J: How is inflation affecting the purchasing power of the salaries in your sector?
L. B.: We managed to obtain a 35 percent wage increase and the purchasing power has largely deteriorated ever since. Three moths after implementing the Universal Family Allowance programmer, nearly 50 percent of the subsidy was already ‘outdated' against inflation. Inflation is the most relevant issue in Argentina.
J: Considering the tourism-related activities, is the gastronomic sector growing?
L. B.: Investments in both the gastronomic sector and hotel industry are are increasing, despite the fact that eating in Argentina tend to be more expensive than eating in Miami or Spain.
J: How would you explain this situation?
L. B.: Argentina lacks any kind of control, and Domestic Trade Secretary Guillermo Moreno is a great actor. He can't just threaten businessmen with a gun. Businessmen, governmental officials and unionists must discuss this kind of situations. Moreno clearly failed in his attempt to control consumer prices. He is a liar, but Néstor Kirchner is responsible for Moreno's actions. Kirchner is the actual liar.