BUENOS AIRES, March 16 Argentina's largest union
announced a one-day general strike on April 6, increasing
pressure on President Mauricio Macri's center-right government
six months before mid-term congressional elections.
The CGT says Macri's policies including austerity measures
like reducing subsidies on fuel and electricity, are resulting
in lower real salaries and lost jobs.
"There are many reasons why this strike has been called and
hopefully it will cause the government to reconsider and really
listen to the most needy sectors," Carlos Acuña, a CGT leader,
said on local television.
The CGT has staged protests in recent weeks but April 6
would be the first general strike in Argentina since Macri took
office in December 2015 promising to attract investment and
restore economic growth.
The strike announcement comes amid tough salary negotiations
between provincial governments and teachers' unions that delayed
the start of school for many children.
While Macri had some early success negotiating with unions,
clinching labor deals with oil and auto workers to lower labor
costs, the recent struggles may worry investors who want to see
more reforms pass congress after the October vote.
Macri's reforms caused inflation to spike to around 40
percent in 2016, when the economy contracted. There have
recently been some signs of improvement however, including
positive month-on-month economic growth in November and
On Thursday the statistics agency said the unemployment rate
was 7.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, down from 8.5
percent in the third quarter.
Macri's Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña on Wednesday blamed former
leftist President Cristina Fernandez for inciting unrest ahead
of the election.
"We can't let ourselves be taken by those voices that want
and need the change we are bringing about to fail," he said in a
(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer and Maximiliano Rizzi)