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  • Thousands joined the protests against Maci

    Thousands joined the protests against Maci's labor reforms in Argentina. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 August 2017

The division between the Argentine union and the government of Mauricio Macri continues to widen amid austerity measures in the country.

The government of Mauricio Macri in Argentina has laid off two key advisers after massive protests by worker's unions against its neoliberal measures that are creating more unemployment in the country.

Argentine Unions
Announce Largest Protest Since Macri Took Office

Deputy Labor Minister Ezequiel Sabor and the supervisor of Health Services Luis Alberto Scervino, who controlled the money given to unions and organizations for public works, were both dismissed.

Meanwhile, the General Confederation of Workers announced it will organize a second national general strike after thousands of workers marched to Argentina’s Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires Tuesday against the government labor reforms affecting employees, retirees and trade unions.

"They tell us that progress will arrive and that we are an obstacle, but we are not deaf," Juan Carlos Schmid, one of the CGT leaders said during the march.

"A long time ago we learned that the recipes of the International Monetary Fund, IMF and the World Bank have led us to terrible failure," he said.

Macri, on the other hand, considered the demonstration to have been “a waste of time,” as he spoke to a group of young people who are part of a jobs program, in the Casa Rosa presidential palace.

Despite this, just hours after the protest, Macri fired the two government officials.

After Teachers, Now Workers March Against Macri in Argentina

The announced strike will be the second strike against Macri this year, after the first one in April, and is scheduled just weeks before the legislative elections on Oct. 22.

Workers claim the government's labor reforms undercut workplace rights, lower wages and make union organizing more difficult. Since taking office in late 2015, Macri has implemented austerity programs across numerous sectors of the country's economy.

Labor issues were in the spotlight throughout his first year in office, as hundreds of thousands of public and private sector workers lost their jobs, prompting fears of rising levels of poverty.

Macri’s austerity measures have led to more than 179,000 job cuts in the public and private sectors since 2016.

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