Photo via TN

The CGT umbrella union and other activist organizations will be protesting around the city of Buenos Aires today after talks in the government of possible labor and social security reforms. The protests are expected to cause massive delays throughout the city so check this map that Perfil created along with the description below if you need to navigate it today:

  • 11:00 AM – Social Movements: CCC, Barrios de Pie and CTEP will convene at the intersection of 9 de Julio and Corrientes.
  • 2:00 PM – Labor Unions: UOM, transport, truck driver, and banking unions will march toward Plaza de Mayo.
  • 3:00 – Plaza de Mayo: Juan Carlos Schmid will deliver a speech to a large crowd in front of the Casa Rosada.

Juan Carlos Schmid, one of the organizers of the protest at Plaza de Mayo this afternoon and the Secretary General of the CGT, told Clarín that they march “because the CGT has an agenda that transcends elections.” Schmid argued for price controls on basic goods and a rejection of the government’s prospective free market reforms. He will speak to a crowd at Plaza de Mayo at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon.

Although the large protests are a joint effort by the CGT, the Central of Argentine Workers (CTA), and others, the movement is largely fractured along lines of method. These union organizations have returned to their perennial opposing sides: one combative faction and one moderate faction that wants to maintain a dialogue with Macri’s administration until after the Oct. 22 general elections. The three main players in the protests today – Héctor Daer, Juan Carlos Schmid, and Carlos Acuña – exhibit many of such disputes. In summary of these differences, Ricardo Roa of Clarín wrote that behind today’s protests is “an old culture of Peronism and a struggle for power within CGT.”

Regardless, they remain united on key principles of the protests enumerated on their August 18 press release:

  • A defense of jobs
  • Free labor representation
  • Rejection of social security reform
  • Rejection of labor reform
  • Rejection of repressive politics

Labor minister Jorge Triaca argued today that the protests are “unnecessary, opportunistic” and that the government is working on “profound and binding changes” to increase employment. Triaca stressed that his Ministry’s efforts to increase employment are crucial to reduce poverty, and that he has been in continuous dialogue with the CGT.

The Labor minister stressed that the addition of 180,000 jobs to the economy since last July – according to data from the Sistema Integrado Previsional Argentino – was a sign of improvement under the new administration. But according to INDEC’s report on the first trimester of 2017, the unemployment rate stands at 9.2 percent.

“The slogans of the CGT march do not match the realities of the labor market, which is showing a recovery. Their motives are 100 percent political,” Triaca said. And even if the dispute is political, the Labor minister believes that his side is winning. Triaca said that the results of PASO indicated that Argentines “do not want to return to the past” in reference to the Fernández de Kirchner administration.