National strike called by trade unions must last 24 hours; transport and trade services joined

The 2nd general strike called by the CGT (General Confederation of Labor) against the government of the president of Argentina, Javier Milei, began at midnight this Thursday (May 9, 2024). The strike affects land, sea and air transport services, as well as educational and financial institutions and companies across the country.

The strike is a response to the “superpacote” economic, known as the “Bus Law” (from the Latin expression “omnibus” that means “for all” or “for all purposes”).

No demonstrations are scheduled. Although some bus lines are operating in the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, the lack of trains and subways has significantly affected the mobility of Argentines. Many commercial establishments are open, but with less traffic. Classes at primary, secondary and university levels have been suspended, while medical services operate at minimum capacity and pharmacies remain open.

There have been reports of attacks on several buses that are in service. Marcelo Pasciuto, general director of the Dota group company that chose not to participate in the general strike and is responsible for buses on 69 lines confirmed that several units were the target of attacks, some of them occurring even before the start of the strike. According to Pasciuto, approximately 35 buses had their windows broken during the incidents. Read the full statement released (PDF 80 kB)

The Argentine Security Minister, Patricia Bullrich, shared on her profile on X (formerly Twitter) images of vandalized buses in the early hours of this Thursday (May 9). “We are not going to let them break everything we have achieved. Let’s take care of everyone who goes to work”he wrote.

Manuel Adorni, presidential spokesman, classified the strike as “without justification”, stating that around 7 million Argentines would be affected by the lack of transport. Milei, who is traveling in the United States, made a publication on X in which she explains that in Hebrew the word “Pharaoh” is said as “paro”.

“For those who understand well, few words are enough… Long live freedom, damn it”, concluded the president.

This will be the 2nd strike that Milei will face since assuming the Presidency of Argentina, on December 10, 2023. The 1st, on January 24, also organized by the CGT, lasted 12 hours. Argentines took to the streets to protest against the reform packages of the “Bus Law” and the DNU (Decree of Necessity and Urgency), proposed by the government of the Argentine president.

“Bus Law”

On April 30, the Argentine Chamber of Deputies approved, after more than 20 hours, the “superpacote” economic policy proposed by President Javier Milei.

The package, known as the “Bus Law, aims to implement labor reforms and privatizations, in addition to declaring a public emergency in several sectors of the Argentine economy. The proposal, which was initially presented in December 2023, underwent significant changes before being approved with 142 votes in favor, 106 against and 5 abstentions. Now, the project goes to the Senate for further discussion.

Among the most debated reforms is the labor reform, which proposes making hiring more flexible and introduces Rigi (Large Investment Incentive Regime), which seeks to offer tax incentives for investments exceeding US$200 million in different sectors in Argentina.

Furthermore, the package includes the privatization of state-owned companies, such as Aerolíneas Argentinas.


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