No subway in the Buenos Aires will been running from noon today after union members of the transport service clashed with police and seven of them – including high-profile member Néstor Segovia – were detained. “Not a single subway will work in the entire City until all our fellow workers are released,” union workers Néstor Pianelli told press. “We resorted to other means of protest during 25 days so as to not affect users, but now we are left with no choice but to paralyze the service,” he added.
The seven union members were arrested for “resisting authority and affecting a public service.”
Tensions started early, when members of the company providing the service – not the unions – tried to board a subway train to provide an “emergency service,” but union workers prevented them from doing so. The conflict escalated after police officers were sent to the tracks to remove the striking union members to bring visibility to their demand for higher wages.
Tras estos uncidentes. Anuncian a partir de las 12hs paro total del subte. En la estacion Las Heras de la Linea H del Subte detuvieron 4 Metrodelegados y exigen su liberación. pic.twitter.com/XjDxAoH9Z8
— Estado del Transito #AlertasTransito (@AlertasTransito) May 22, 2018
“Larreta is putting me in prison for defending my fellow workers,” said Segovia to the journalists present at the scene while he was being taken by police. “I am not a criminal [just] because I am discussing wage negotiations,” he added.
Hubo máxima tensión en la estación Pueyrredón de la línea H. Hay 7 detenidos, entre ellos Néstor Segovia
— TN – Todo Noticias (@todonoticias) May 22, 2018
Unions are demanding wage negotiations concerning their sector be reopened, because a Supreme Court ruling from march stripped them from their legal person status, something that prevented them from sitting at the negotiation table. They want to be included in order to negotiate an increase that is higher than the 15.2 percent that was agreed on earlier this year.
Metrovías, in contrast, considers the actions taken by union members to be illegal and as a result, has suspended the workers who took the measures of force.
Considering that today’s clashes poured fuel to an already big fire, expect more strikes soon.