May 22, 2013
Subway: City Gov't issues mandatory conciliation
After several comings and goings, the City Government finally decided to issue a mandatory conciliation in the subway conflict after workers announced they had decided to extend the strike one more day. However, unionists said they would gather in assembly all night to analyze the measure.
Ezequiel Sabor, the City's Labour Deputy Secretary, said that the reason for the mandatory conciliation was to make all parts go back to a pre-strike stage.
Sabor assured that in case workers refused to abide by the Government's decision, "a sanction would be implemented," but he said he trusted "on the good will coming from both parts to find a solution."
The subway workers, however, said they would consider the Government's measure and meet in an assembly in order to analyze which the next steps in their protest.
Earlier, subway workers announced on that after not being able to find a solution to the current conflict, they had decided to extend the strike one more day.
“Since the company doesn’t want to solve anything we will extend our strike for 24 more hours. Now it’s up to Metrovías,” spokesman Néstor Segovia said after leaving the meeting that took place in the City’s Labour Deputy Secretariat offices.
Present in the meeting were members of the City Government, the secretary general of the subway workers’ union, Roberto Pianelli and members of the Metrovías company.
On Friday, the protests will enter their seventh day of strike.
Before entering the meeting, secretary-general of the main subway workers union UTA, Roberto Fernández, remained reluctant about the possibilities of resolution that could come out of the meeting stating: “this is not a judicial problem, nor an administrative one. This is a political problem.”
The effects of the strike seem to have started to take their toll, demonstrated by AGTSyP breakaway subway workers union leader Roberto Pianelli, when he revealed that the group had received a bomb threat. Pianelli snubbed the threat making it clear that “nobody will terrify” them.
Earlier today, City Judge Patricia López Vergara ordered Sabor to call a meeting in order to find a solution to the wage conflict that came to a head today, paralysing the city’s subway service for the sixth consecutive day.
“I have ordered the Labour Subsecretary to convene collective bargaining talks with the representatives of the subway workers and Metrovías, in a bid to get both parties to sit down,” López Vergara said today during a radio interview.
At the same time, the City's Contentious and Administrative court magistrate made it clear that it was not within her jurisdiction to obligate the subway workers to lift the strike, that was put in place on Friday of last week.
The subway strike, that has been affecting some 900,000 passengers' commute every day this week, was still in full force today with union members from breakaway AGTSyP subway workers' union unwilling to ease up on the measure and no wage accord in sight.
The conflict surrounds wage hikes and better working conditions for subway staff.