March 10, 2014
Moyano: unions demand 30 percent hike
Dissident CGT leaders insist on a 4,500-peso Christmas bonus for teamsters
Truck drivers across Argentina will strike for 24 hours if leaders of the private sector don’t respond to their demands for an end-of-year bonus, deputy leader of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) union, Pablo Moyano revealed yesterday.
The union leader also yesterday took aim at the government for pressuring the private sector to deny benefits to drivers, and claimed that the national administration would “surely come out to discredit” the union.
“Those imbeciles (in the government) will come out saying we’re coup mongerers (and) that we want to provoke chaos,” he said, adding “it’s what they do every time we voice demands or protest.”
But more importantly, the union leader said that the 30 percent hike achieved by police officers will be the floor for future negotiations.
“Whether we like or not, (policemen) are workers. This may be a tendency for next year,” Moyano told radio programme El Fin de la Metáfora.
The union, one of Argentina’s largest and most influential, is demanding a 4,500 pesos bonus, which Moyano said was aimed at “compensating” for the effects of growing inflation and persistent income taxation on worker’s earnings.
“There’s a strong demand from our workers. It’s a bonus we’ve been demanding for exactly 5 years to compensate for the theft on the part of this government with this tax on work,” he told Nacional Rock, adding that it was “an embarrassment that workers bow down to the state for wanting to taking an extra buck home.”
After primaries defeat, the national government increased the income tax floor to 15,000 pesos, one of the highest levels in Latin America.
Members of the CGT met with private sector leaders on Thursday to analyze the union’s request, an encounter which Moyano described as being characterized by businessmen who “as always, (were) crying and saying they haven’t made any money.”
CRITICISM OF GOV’T
In his radio interview, Moyano spoke in depth about the government’s position on union demands, which come just days after the end of nationwide police strike that led to looting and violence across the country.
Moyano claimed the union “condemned the pressure the government passes down with (Employment Minister Carlos) Tomada and Vice-Minister (Noemí) Rial calling business figures so they don’t give us the bonus.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the CGT union and father of Pablo Moyano, Hugo Moyano, took a similar line.
“Who does the government think it is meddling with private affairs?” he told the Salta-based El Tribuno daily.
“They (in the national government) clearly see the mistakes they’ve made and that it’s the consequence of not responding to demands. She (President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner) thought that with 54 percent (of the vote in the last presidential election) she had the mandate to do and say as she wished. Today the reality of things is very different,” Moyano senior added.
The former Kirchnerite ally also criticized the new Cabinet Chief, Jorge Capitanich, who Moyano claimed was trying to fix the government’s previous mistakes.
Both Hugo and Pablo Moyano confirmed that the CGT’s administrative body would meet today to analyze whether or not the union would follow through on its plan to strike, which could happen “this week or the next,” according to Pablo Moyano.
“If there’s no agreement then there’s surely going to be a 24 strike by truck drivers,” Moyano junior claimed.
—Herald staff with DyN