Argentine unions and pseudo-left scrambling to prevent social explosion
22 June 2018
The Argentine stock market saw its worst fall in 10 years on Monday amid a deepening economic crisis and the failure of the right-wing government of President Mauricio Macri to halt both capital flight and a sharp devaluation of the peso by means of its escalating attacks on jobs and living conditions.
Since the end of last year, Argentina has witnessed a sharp escalation of the class struggle, reflected in a series of increasingly large mass strikes.
With the notable exception of the three-month strike largely organized by rank-and-file teachers in Neuquén between March and May—the longest strike in a decade—that was finally betrayed by the local affiliated to the Argentine Workers Central (CTA), the so-called dissident factions of the trade-union bureaucracy have limited strikes to one or two days, hoping to dissipate growing opposition.
However, as militancy continues to grow and the government commits to a US$50 billion IMF loan linked to severe austerity measures, trade union leaders, along with their political co-thinkers in the Peronist and pseudo-left parties, are scrambling to contain social opposition within the traditional channels controlled by the ruling class.
Meanwhile, the government is preparing its repressive forces for a mass social explosion, with the Argentine daily Clarín reporting a rapid redeployment of the armed forces from the borders to “hotspots of conflict risk in the next months.”
The largest strike since Macri took office is expected on Monday, June 25, unless the trade unions reach a deal beforehand. All three factions of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) will be joined by the three CTA currents, the confederation of the…