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A morning without buses, subways or trains

Rejecting the application to salaries of the Income Tax and demanding its modification, the transport unions are carrying out measures today that will affect bus, train, subway and airplane services until noon, as well as garbage collection. and fuel supply. The Argentine Confederation of Transport Workers (CATT), led by Juan Carlos Schmid, ratified that between 4 a.m. and 12 noon they will hold informative assemblies at workplaces in all companies and means of transport in the country. The elimination of the tax was “a commitment by President (Mauricio) Macri during the electoral campaign,” Schmid recalled. Roberto Fernández, of the Automotive Tramway Union, He added that “everything is a nuisance but here, unfortunately, we have to exert a little pressure. We do not refuse to pay, but not in this way.”

The day of protest is a trade union response to the brake of the Casa Rosada on the opposition tax reform project and will take place while the government’s negotiations with the CGT and the governors continue. 

The Minister of Labor, Jorge Triaca, met yesterday with CET leaders and assured that the debate will continue “on Monday (for today), Tuesday and Wednesday.” The objective of the Government is that the Senate does not sanction this Wednesday the project that it received with half a sanction from Deputies.

Triaca sought to be conciliatory with the guilds. “We understand that transportation workers are the most harmed by the Income Tax,” he admitted. However, he insisted on asking them not to  affect the normal functioning of the life of Argentine workers and the economy in general.

Regarding the possibility that the Profits discussion be resolved before the end of the year, the official said that “it is difficult” to estimate that but assured that “if one had to evaluate the will of all sectors, there is a high understanding.”

The strike is a reaction of the unions to the breach of Macri’s promise. 

The protests confirmed last night anticipated the following scenario: 

  • Buses : they will not leave between 5 and 7 in the morning. “Today 90% of UTA workers pay profits,” said the head of the Union Tranviarios Automotor (UTA), Roberto Fernández. The leader did not rule out that the measure extends until later. 
  • Subways : they will not work between 5 and 12, since both the UTA and the metro delegates adhere to the measure. 
  • Trains : the head of La Fraternidad, Omar Maturano, anticipated that “from 4 to 12 no train will leave.” Along these lines, I have maintained that the “talks” with the national government will take place “after the protest.”

Starting at 8 in the morning, the CATT will hold a central assembly in the Port of Buenos Aires, at the entrance to Terminal Río de la Plata (in Retiro), where port, maritime and truck drivers will converge with the presence of Schmid and Paul Moiano.

Simultaneously, there will be workers’ assemblies in all means of transport such as railway terminals, airports and bus stops. “These assemblies imply that in that period, our people will go to work but will not provide services, since their leaders will learn about the negotiations that are being carried out to listen to our genuine claims in the modifications to the Income Tax. , which today affect us significantly”, explained Schmid when announcing the measures. 

Starting at 10, at Aeroparque, Juan Pablo Brey (Aeronavegantes), press secretary of the CATT, will evaluate the assemblies in the airport sector for the media. “We are going to debate with our colleagues in assemblies, comment on what the two projects are like and what are the three points that the CATT wants to include, that is, the deductions for travel expenses, holidays and overtime,” explained Brey.

In this way, the assemblies will affect all the services of subway users, trains, buses and planes, as well as garbage collection, fuel supply, among other items. There will also be no cargo transport, such as the movement of port containers, nor an operational maritime and river fleet.

The CATT is made up of some twenty land, air, port, river and maritime transport unions. Among them are La Fraternidad, Truckers, Fempinra, UTA, Aeronavigators, Guincheros and Mobile Cranes, Supeh Fleet, Dredging and Buoyage, UPSA, UALA, Captains and Fishing Skippers, Railway Signalmen, and Merchant Marine.

The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Emilio Monzó, admitted that the Government mishandled the Earnings issue, one of President Macri’s unfulfilled campaign promises. “Last week we sidelined. We exaggerated our positions, all of us”, he maintained, and stated that “this week we returned to dialogue”. He also assured that to stop the Earnings reform “there was no whip or checkbook. There was dialogue and conversation and a certain firmness of the Executive Power together with the governors in the responsibility to govern”.

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