December 12, 2013
Union leaders say strike was 'highly successful'
While main pickets that were affecting accesses to the City were lifted, the CTA workers union chief Pablo Micheli assured the national strike was "a success." "Thousands joined us to protest a government that doesn't want to listen to us," he added.
The secretary-general of the Court Workers union Julio Piumato assured earlier that members of the anti-government branch of the CGT were “very happy” with the development of the strike and that “the ball will remain in the government’s court” regarding workers’ demands.
“Today all workers are giving a great example of unity by taking aside any differences that might exist between their union leaders.”
"The strike is a total success. We must understand the situation workers are experiencing. A large portion of the working class is unregistered or working off-shore positions, all which is nothing but a sign of how precarious the labor situation is.”
“And those who are working today must be sad since they feel oppressed as they can’t claim for their rights. That also shows how precarious the labor situation is for some workers”, Piumato remarked.
Likewise, Piumato asked a group of journalists: Can you join the strike? Many of your colleagues told me they can’t because if they do, they will lose their jobs. Well, to me those are not the ideal working conditions. It reveals the pressure put by your bosses to you and to your unions so you don’t join measures like this.”
Asked about the roadblocks set in the BA City surrounding areas, Piumato explained: “Everybody knew that there will be tickets. They [pickets] are part of the protests, and the people knew it beforehand.”
The anti-government branch of the CGT’s leader Hugo Moyano said in a radio interview today that their demands are for “dialogue and response to an agenda that is already well-known.”
“There are millions of Argentines that are in danger and the government does nothing to protect them. The ball will remain in their court,” he said.
The head of the UATRE farm hands union, Gerónimo Venegas said today that “five strategic routes were blocked off last night” by truck drivers and to that explained his want for the government to “put forward” some kind of dialogue.
“The government has kept the money meant to be put toward pay rises. We don’t want to be in the street, but we have to do something to make the them respond,” Venegas furthered.