Monday, July 13, 2020

ARGENTINA | 11-02-2020 12:52

38 bus routes affected by 24-hour UTA dissident strike

Dissident faction of transport-workers union makes move against UTA leader Roberto Fernández, as it decries falling purchasing power.

A sector of the Unión Tranviarios Automotor (UTA) transport-workers' union walked off the job Tuesday, calling attention to falling purchasing power and the management of the union by Secretary General Roberto Fernández.

"We’re calling for a demonstration tomorrow because of all of the situations that we have to endure in our guild. We’ve had a 50 percent loss in purchasing power during the [Mauricio] Macri Government, due to the complicity of Roberto Fernández," said dissident UTA leader, Miguel Bustinduy, in dialogue with El Destape Radio.

The affected bus routes were numbers: 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 20 – 21 -23 – 24 – 25 – 28 – 31 – 44 – 50 – 51 – 56 – 57 – 74 – 76 – 79 – 84 – 91 – 99 – 101 – 106 – 107 – 108 – 117 – 130 – 135 – 146 – 150 – 161 – 164 – 168 – 177 and 188.

The wildcat strike will last 24 hours, and the date coincides a scheduled meeting by the union's leaders and officials from the Labour Ministry to discuss salary increases with employers.

At their last hearing, the government and union leaders did not agree on payment dates for their already-agreed upon retroactive salaries owed from September to December 2019, which add up to an 18.3 percent pay increase, plus fixed sum increases.

Bustinduy, speaking for the dissident sector, known as the Juan Manuel Palacios Association of the UTA, said that "we are talking with all the delegates from all over the country so that the measure affects all the lines of Argentina."

"This is a longstanding issue because we do not share political views with Roberto Fernández, and he now lacks legitimacy because the union did not vote for him. He is secretary general because the Judiciary said so," Bustinduy warned.

However, he stressed that the measure of force "is not against the Government of Alberto Fernández.”

The internal debate within the UTA is not new: a measure was proposed by the same sector last December to call for new elections.



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