Argentine teachers go back to work after three-day strike
15 March 2019
In addition to the political and economic implosion of Venezuela, under threat of imperialist intervention by the United States, and in the context of the geopolitical conflict between the US and Russia and China, other nations in South America, including Chile, Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina, face deep economic recessions, instability and an explosion of struggles by the working class.
On March 6, Argentine teachers launched a three-day strike, postponing the beginning of the school year. The strike was widely observed across the country. The main issue in the walkout was a demand for a wage increase to make up for past inflation. The buying power of teachers’ wages is being demolished every day by an inflation rate that is near 50 percent. The teachers are demanding a national monthly wage of 26,000 pesos ($US630).
According to the Marine Vilte Institute, an education think tank, “while teachers average starting salary is $US309 a month, a typical Argentine family needs $US644 to be above the poverty line.”
Joining education workers last week were judicial employees, doctors and other public employees. The strike, which resolved nothing, revealed how every political force in Argentina has lined up against the education workers and the entire working class.
The Argentine teachers’ union, CTERA, which organized the 72-hour protest, working from the same script as teachers’ unions across the world, engaged in back-room deals with the provincial governments and with the administration of President Mauricio Macri, isolated and limited the strike to three days, and used it to call on the teachers to support the populist and corporatist Peronist parties.
A supporting and criminal…