The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), which represents 3 million workers across Canada, together with the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA), the regional body of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), express our deep concern for the situation in Argentina.
Since its inauguration on December 10, the government of President Javier Milei has promoted several measures that generate profound damage to the Argentine people, its workers, its organizations, and social movements.
We support the national strike called by the Argentine trade union federations, CGT, CTA-T and CTA-A on January 24, in rejection of the Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) and the “omnibus law” project, which violate the principles of division of powers, democratic principles and the correct functioning of institutions and constitutional norms.
Some of the measures of the DNU 70/23 that affect workers in an extremely negative way include: it imposes strong limits to the exercise of the right to strike and to the holding of union assemblies; it extends the trial period from 3 to 8 months; it allows the deregulation of the working day and modifies the regulation of overtime; it facilitates outsourcing and labour intermediation; it reduces severance pay; it weakens the labour contract law by reducing its applicability; it eliminates fines for unregistered employment and for the non-payment of severance pay. For its part, the Omnibus Law includes a modification of the Penal Code that takes the criminalization of social protest to levels not seen since the last military dictatorship, among the measures clearly aimed at limiting union action.
Although the Argentine courts granted the claim made by the CGT by issuing a precautionary measure that paralyzes the implementation of the segment dedicated to labour reforms in the Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU), such resolution is not definitive, and the Argentine government has repeatedly announced that it will continue and deepen the measures, while the Argentine Congress debates and defines the approval of the “omnibus law”.
The Canadian Labour Congress, together with TUCA, express our profound rejection of the measures that the government has imposed against the working class and trade unions, in addition to setting a regional precedent in terms of a clear violation of labour, social and trade union rights.
Therefore, we request the Argentine government to urgently prioritize broad and democratic social dialogue to analyze and define the best measures that include and promote the participation of the Argentine people.
We request the Argentine authorities (executive, legislative and judicial branches) review all those measures of the DNU that violate the rights of workers, that contravene constitutional norms and the international norms of the International Labor Organization ratified by Argentina.
Rafael Freire Neto
Link to official letter here.