Argentina braces for major strike from three of the country’s five biggest unions

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 16:24 EDT
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Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner looks on during a press conference at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris on March 19, 2014 [AFP]
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Argentina braced Wednesday for a major strike in a fresh challenge to President Cristina Kirchner amid growing public discontent over high inflation and crime.

Three of the country’s five unions are expected to participate in Thursday’s labor action, which takes aim at Kirchner’s attempt to cap salary increases in an increasingly troubled economy.

“Enough! That’s what the workers are telling the government,” said Hugo Moyano, a truck driver, who heads the CGT union.

The 24-hour strike is expected to largely cripple the country’s public transportation system, turning commutes into nightmares.

“Everyone has the right to strike and that’s good,” Kirchner, who took office in 2007 and is in her second term, said Tuesday.

Kirchner’s government is being blamed for an annual inflation rate of over 30 percent.

“I’m never in favor of the strikes but living with this level of inflation is impossible,” said Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri of the opposition PRO party.

In addition, crime is seen as a major concern by the population.

Earlier this month, a year-long public safety emergency was declared in Buenos Aires after a spate of violent robberies and assaults sparked a wave of vigilante action.

The last general strike called by unions in Argentina took place in November 2012 and partially paralyzed the country.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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