On July 12, Argentine public transport workers went on a 24-hour strike throughout the country, except in the city and province of Buenos Aires. The workers are demanding a 20% increase in salaries and a bonus of 16,000 pesos. The call for the strike was given by the Unión Tranviarios Automotor (UTA), a trade union of public transport workers.
The UTA brings together workers of different public transport services such as buses, trolley buses, metros and trams. The union is trying to achieve the same salary agreement that prevails in Buenos Aires for all the workers across the country.
On July 10, the union announced the measure after the negotiation process failed with the representatives of the Argentine Federation of Automotive Public Transport System (FATAP) in the labor ministry.
“We hold responsible for the situation that both workers and users of the services will go through because of the measure, not only the business sector, which has consistently refused to discuss, but also the national and provincial authorities that ignore and do not resonate the union proposal,” said Roberto Fernandez, the head of the union.
The next meeting between the representatives of the UTA and the FATAP is scheduled for July 17. The union in its last official statement has warned that if the meeting or negotiation fails, the workers will go on strike again.
The length of the strike as well as the start date differed across the country, as many transportation companies have not paid workers their salaries for the month of June, their bonuses, or contributed to workers’ social security programs for months.