It may have been lost in the vortex of news the country has endured this week, but the country’s primary unions will conduct a nationwide general strike on Monday. Juan Carlos Schmid, member of the Executive Board of the CGT umbrella union – the union that called for the strike in the first place – confirmed the measure yesterday, regardless of any action the government may take before Monday, and assured it will be “the strongest one in years.”
“In order to get cured, the first thing that needs to be done is acknowledging one is sick. The government will not acknowledge its economic program has failed in every aspect: investments, exports. It has not provided solutions to the problems of employment or inflation,” Schmid said in a radio interview. Yesterday, the Indec statistics agency reported that the unemployment rate grew by 1.9 percent in three months and clocked in at 9.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
In contrast with the last general strike called by the CGT – which took place on December 18, 2017, amid tensions over the reform to the pension system pushed by the government – this one is set to have a large impact, both on people’s days and the political narrative as a whole. This is the case because, unlike the last time, the public transport unions decided to join the strike. Therefore, people who will not partake in the strike will have a difficult time making it to work, because they won’t be able to take trains, subways, or buses.
The unions grouping airport workers have announced they will join the strike as well, so there won’t be any flights on Monday. Banks and schools in the Buenos Aires Province will be shut as well.
But while the CGT intends to empty the streets to make their silence speak volumes, the leftist parties joining the strike have other plans. Always prone to stage visible protests, they will do exactly that, with marches, roadblocks, and a central event that will take place at the Obelisco.
So, you have been warned. If you have the ability to not leave your home on Monday, don’t. Getting from point A to point B will be practically impossible.