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Union Calls General Strike, First in Argentina Under Macri

  • Reuters

FILE - Workers demonstrate in Buenos Aires against the government's cuts in public expenditure and jobs, April 29, 2016.

FILE - Workers demonstrate in Buenos Aires against the government's cuts in public expenditure and jobs, April 29, 2016.

Argentina's largest umbrella union, the CGT, called on Friday for a 24-hour general strike next month in a sign opposition is growing to free-market reforming President Mauricio Macri.

Faced with double-digit inflation, the CGT, which has not yet scheduled the strike, is calling for the reopening of salary negotiations. Macri does not want salary adjustments to further fuel inflation in the middle of a recession.

"The strike is confirmed, we just need to fix a date. Our points of complaint are the economy, salary negotiations, and the right to dialogue," the head of the janitors' union Víctor Santa María said.

Diverse unions in Argentina, including workers tied to transportation, united under the CGT to improve their negotiating power.

FILE - Argentina's President Mauricio Macri waves at journalists at the end of a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Bogota, Colombia, June 15, 2016.

FILE - Argentina's President Mauricio Macri waves at journalists at the end of a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Bogota, Colombia, June 15, 2016.

Macri has implemented free-market reforms like cutting subsidies in an effort to attract investment since taking office in December. Some of those measures have made dialogue with the unions even harder, especially since most support opposition political parties.

Aware of the political power workers have long held, the government has approved some benefits for unions like increasing health funds.

Government representatives and unions are expected to meet in the next few weeks.

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