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Argentinean Workers Shut Down Airports in 2-Day Strike for Wages

Buenos Aires, June 10 (RHC)-- Argentina is set to see a shutdown in airplane traffic for the next two days as state workers in the national aviation union launched a 48-hour strike on Friday morning across more than 30 airports to pressure the government to negotiate a wage dispute with workers, hard hit by rising inflation.

Airport workers, organized through the national Association of State Workers, also known as ATE, announced the work stoppage on Thursday.  The job action is expected to impact both domestic and international flights, bringing airports to a halt. 

An ATE spokesperson told Reuters that the strike, launched at 6:00 a.m. local time, will involve all workers “from air traffic controllers to those who open the airport door.”

Some airline companies cancelled flights in anticipation of the strike, local media reported.  Striking workers reject a new collective agreement that they say was reached with their participation and demand that the government re-open negotiations so that unions can reclaim lost wages.

They are also calling for better job security after the controversial agreement relaxed labor relations to make the workforce more “flexible,” potentially paving the way for easier layoffs. The union has said the strike will continue until the government agrees to talk.

The 48-hour airport strike come on the heels of a wave of protests by state workers over mass layoffs in the first months of President Mauricio Macri’s term in office.

Workers in various sectors are struggling to negotiate wages with the government as Macri pushes an austerity agenda and economic adjustments aimed at calming high inflation.

More than 154,000 people lost their jobs in the first five months of Macri’s administration, while inflation and the price of utilities and the basic services have skyrocketed, worsening the pinch already felt by workers

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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