December 20, 2014
Capitanich ratifies stance that strike is political
Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich considered the protest slogans of today’s strike “senseless” and described the walkout as a “big national picket” that “restricts the liberty” of those who decided to attend their jobs and have been forced to cope with a standstill in public transportation services.
“The right to strike is enshrined in the National Constitution. What can´t be done is to stop the free exercise of that right,” the head of ministers said during his daily brief to the press at the government house this morning, adding that protest actions like today’s only “restrict the liberty” of workers who decided not to join the strike.
“There are workers who agree with the walkout and join it; there are others who disagree and want to attend their work places and can’t do it.”
"Senseless" protest slogans and a 'new' leader
After considering the strike launched by the anti-government splinters of the CGT labour confederation commanded by Hugo Moyano and Luis Barrionuevo and backed by the CTA central of workers a “big national picket” – leftist groups joined the strike setting several pickets and blocking key access roads to Buenos Aires City -, Capitanich questioned today’s protest slogans.
Union leaders have in fact accused the Kirchnerite administration of “limiting” collective bargaining negotiations. “Salary talks are free and have no roof,” the minister affirmed, explaining that only 200 wage agreements were set in 2002 while the government is looking at "1,650 deals" to be closed this year.
CFK’s chief of staff also criticized unions’ income tax demands praising a 2013 government decree that took the wage tax floor to 15,000 pesos. According to Capitanich, only “half” of 2.5 million workers now have to pay the tax.
A Middle Ages-like method is today’s strike, the cabinet chief warned. “In the Middle Ages, feudal lords blocked access to the population. There is no room for barbarism neither for measures that go against the free exercise of workers’ right to strike,” Capitanich insisted and accused CGT’s Luis Barrionuevo of having become "another leader" of the Renewal Front opposition coalition commanded by MP and ex Mayor of the Buenos Aires province locality of Tigre - also cabinet chief during Cristina Kirchner's firt term in office -, Sergio Massa.
“With this opposition action (Barrionuevo) becomes a leader of the Renewal Front, along with other leaders such as Sergio Massa, Felipe Solá and Darío Giustozzi; and becomes in a model to the left that was looking for a new leadership”.