Argentina: wildcat strike on Buenos Aires Metro

Buenos Aires Metro shut down.

Metro Workers in Buenos Aires launched a 24-hour wildcat strike in protest at an agreement between management and their union.

The strike was virtually 100% observed and shut down the entire network, which is used by over a million people every day. The workers called the strike in protest at the salary increase negotiated by the rail workers' union (UTA). Buenos Aires was chaotic with traffic jams blocking most of the city as hundreds of thousands of people tried to use the roads instead.

The metro company, Metrovias, responded by releasing details of the pay structures offered, claiming that salaries will be almost doubled. The vice-minister for employment, Noemi Rial warned that disciplinary measures could be taken against strikers.

Management tried to run a skeleton service but workers jumped onto the lines and prevented the trains from moving. lines B & E ran occasional trains, but workers rushed to reblock the lines. A portion of line A was supposedly taken control of by management but they claimed that they could not run trains because objects had been placed on the lines.

Metro workers, have taken to organising outside of the union, using general assemblies and elected delegates to organise themselves. In 2004 Metro workers won a pay rise and a reduction of the working day to six hours after organising a massive wildcat strike. The UTA (rail-workers' union, an affiliate of the CGT) was completely bypassed

A French acccount of the 2004 strike..

update 22:38 BST- In a press conference held today at the worker cooperative Hotel Bauen, delegates of the Metrovias workers announced they would release the turnstiles tommorow and allow free rides from all stations and follow with another twentyfour hour strike Wednesday or Thursday.

Posted By

jef costello
May 21 2007 19:20

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