June 19, 2013
Tomada: Moyano strike ‘does not make sense’
Measure reaches six days, concerns it could produce shortages
The teamsters union, led by anti-government CGT umbrella labour union boss Hugo Moyano, continued to blockade wholesale supermarkets yesterday, blocking entrances and exits to 30 out of 32 Maxiconsumo stores nationwide, in a move designed to pressure the company into changing the union registration of its workforce into a union allied with Moyano.
In response to the blockade, which began on February 13 and has since spread, affecting the supply of goods to small- and medium-sized supermarket chains, Labour Minister Carlos Tomada held a press conference yesterday in which he stated that Moyano’s motives for a blockade “do not make sense.”
“Transferring wholesale logistics workers to the aegis of the teamsters union is like transferring judicial officials to an airplane pilot’s union; their jobs are simply not the same,” said Tomada.
The Labour Minister also stated that it was “more than mere coincidence” that Moyano had decided to blockade now and believed the cause was most likely political — last week, Moyano created the political party “Party for Culture, Education and Work” (CPCEyT) to represent his union in the next October 2013 legislative elections.
Tomada stated yesterday his belief that the measure was designed to “distort the normal distribution of foodstuffs in order to disrupt the price freeze accord signed between all the supermarkets vendors” and Domestic Trade Secretary Guillermo Moreno. The minister requested that Moyano choose “the legal route” to protest, describing the current protest as “illegal.”
“Maxiconsumo workers do not feel represented by Moyano,” Tomada stated, and emphasized that “the government would always defend workers.”
At the same time, the protest measures could cause shortages of 50,000 products provided to small and medium-size businesses throughout the country, warned Maxiconsumo Company President Pedro Szapiro and the executive Director of the Federation of Chinese Supermarkets Miguel Angel Calvete yesterday.
Calvete remarked that it was an “inopportune time to hold the protest” since it started right after the government had reached a price control deal with the supermarkets and was worried that it could hurt the implementation of the accord.
The Chinese supermarket representative did admit, though, that the strike would not affect the large supermarket chains since they have their own distribution centres and purchase their goods directly from the factories.
Teamsters union under-secretary Pablo Moyano, who directly organized the blockade, yesterday accused the government of preventing Maxiconsumo logistic workers from receiving an extra 3,000 pesos in their monthly salary and other additional benefits.
Moyano stated that if the workers were allowed to transfer the logistic workers to their union, their standard of living would increase and blamed Commerce labour union leader Armando Cavalieri, who reports to the government aligned CGT labour union, for the worker’s “plight.”
Herald with DyN, Telam, Ambito.com