Thursday, December 5, 2019
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ARGENTINA | 01-11-2019 09:16

Transport chaos: Five-hour train strike leaves 500,000 stranded

All overground train lines – Mitre, San Martín, Sarmiento, Roca, Belgrano Sur, Tren de la Costa and long distance lines – shut down from 4am to 9am this Friday morning as union members hold assemblies.

Commuters inside and outside Buenos Aires were thrust into chaos this morning, as a five-hour strike on overground train services left 500,000 facing complications getting into the capital.

All overground rail services – Mitre, San Martín, Sarmiento, Roca, Belgrano Sur, Tren de la Costa and long distance –  as well as cargo trains were affected by the shutdown, which lasted from 4am to 9am.

Large queues formed at bus stops across the capital as commuters desperately tried to find quicker routes to work.

The strike, which consisted of union members holding assemblies during these working hours, was called by members of the El Sindicato de Conductores de Trenes La Fraternidad, who said in a statement they have been "losing 20 percent of their salary as a result of inflation." Union members said they were disappointed by the lack of progress over wage renegotiations in joint discussions with other groups.

The union, headed by Omar Maturano, said that rail services would be normalised by mid-morning, when the assemblies end.

"The Fraternity Trade Union informs the public that on November 1, assemblies will be held in the workplace due to the delay in joint discussions that railway companies carry out with the unions of the sector," the statement began .

And then he added: "Discussions have been going on for months and we have been losing approximately 20 percent of our salaries with respect to inflation, makes the situation very difficult for all workers."

"We made this determination in the face of companies' refusal to reach agreements in joint negotiations. After that time, the services will be standardised and we will keep the partners informed how this situation will continue," La Fraternidad explained in press release.

– AP

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