June 19, 2013
CGT's Hugo Moyano accuses Gov't of 'extortion'
The boss of the CGT Labour Confederation Hugo Moyano gave a hard-hitting speech this afternoon before a crowd of over 25,000 trade union members in the Plaza de Mayo, in which he slated the national government's approach toward workers. Moyano accused Fernández de Kirchner's administration of “extortion” and of “keeping workers' money.
With his back turned towards the Government House and in front of some 50,000 workers (according to the teamsters union) or 22,000 (according to the police), Moyano slammed Fernández de Kirchner and accused her of being “too proud” and of “acting as if she were in a dictatorship,” far from the supposed “national and popular” values of Peronism.
“Some think they can replace Perón and Eva Perón and that is absolute insanity,” he stated, adding that Peronism “is not empty words but actual accomplishments.”
The CGT leader was the only speaker at the rally during the national strike led by the teamsters union and others allied to the umbrella union, as they demanded a hike on the income tax floor and the expansion of coverage for the universal child allowance.
“Isn’t keeping the workers’ money an extortion?” he wondered, and assured that many workers had complained about being pressured into not joining the strike.
“They keep your money, comrades,” he said as he fired up the crowds in front of him. “I hope they are not using that money to subsidize bingos or casinos,” he added.
He urged the President to “leave arrogance behind” and work “humbly” in order to accept a dialogue with the workers’ movement so they can engage in an “exchange of opinions” and finding solutions that are not imposed but agreed upon.
Furthermore, the umbrella union leader emphasized “how can it be that a government that is supposedly democratic act in this way?”
“We are living in a country where the workers are being attacked by its government."
The downtown area of Buenos Aires City was filled to the brim with union members carrying out marches from across various different sectors, grouping together to attend the mass rally led by top teamster and CGT boss.
Buenos Aires City was suffering traffic chaos throughout the course of the day, due to the roadblocks in place ahead of the mass rally.This included traffic along 9 de Julio Avenue, where it was completely disrupted due to roadblocks between Belgrano Avenue and Avenida de Mayo by various unions.
Traffic restrictions have been in place on the outskirts of the central square since early this morning.
Prior to the rally, the intersection of Belgrano and 9 de Julio avenue was being blocked off by a large group of teamsters as well as at the intersection with Avenida de Mayo, where a group led by restaurant workers boss Luis Barrionuevo was also disrupting traffic.The protest called by Moyano demands raising the income tax floor, universal child benefits and school aid.
Unions backing Moyano at the CGT leadership, restaurant workers leader Luis Barrionuevo, some opposition political parties and social organizations were present at the rally in Plaza de Mayo, while the so-called “Fat Cats”, the “independent” unions, both CTA Argentine workers unions and farm leaders absent.
Yesterday, during a televised speech at the Government House, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner criticized Moyano and said that Border Guards would not be deployed to patrol the Plaza de Mayo during the CGT rally. This morning, however, some police presence was in place at Plaza de Mayo as well as some members of the riot police.