December 13, 2013
Gov't unblocks bus drivers' conflict, UTA lifts 5-day strike
Following a meeting with the government, UTA bus drivers’ union lifted the strike that affected long distance services for five days, leaving thousands strained at bus stations across the country and committed to resume service “immediately.”
Press Secretary of the Rail Automobile Union (UTA in Spanish) Mario Calegari confirmed that the union agreed on an 18-per cent increase for January, February and March and a 23-per cent hike starting on April with the national government as the “guarantor” of salary negotiations.
Although the service was announced to be resumed “inmediately”, Calegari said that it will take “some hours” for buses to be up and running again normally after almost six days of walkout.
More than 250,000 passengers remained strained on Monday at bus stations across the country amid dismissals' threats and official warnings to sanction both companies and UTA.
The government indeed imposed sanctions on more than 500 companies for failing to guarantee the service while Interior and Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo strongly questioned the strike action considering it a move by unions and business leaders that held “passengers hostage to return to the subsidies’’ system.”