Argentine labor forces and activists have poured out onto the streets in downtown Buenos Aires
to protest high prices and low wages.
The protesters, led by trade unions and leftist groups, demanded on Tuesday that general wages be increased to meet the hike in utility prices as well as the high inflation.
“Firstly, we’re calling for a commission to be convoked to confer a general increase in wages …. We believe that these figures need to be indexed in accordance with the cost of living,” Guillermo Pacagnini, a member of the Central Workers Union, said.
Workers accompanied by their families chanted slogans to the beat of drums while carrying leftist posters. “For the right to work and salary,” read a union banner.
The march came after the conservative government of President Mauricio Macri, who came to power in December, unveiled its new measures to boost the economy
Argentina President Mauricio Macri (AFP Photo)
The economic plan includes raising power, gas and water prices up to 400 percent. President Macri has also eased some of the government’s restrictive capital policies and floated the country’s peso currency.
Macri, who is a civil engineer and has studied business in the US, says his mixed policies of easing regulations for the private sector while cutting public expenses in the government sector will gradually lead to economic growth, create jobs, and eventually rein in the spiraling inflation rate, which economic experts expect to soar up to 35 percent in 2016.
Macri’s opponents, the leftist and labor unions, believe his measures will favor the rich and harm the poor.