Argentine Unions Strike to Protest Milei’s Reforms

On April 29, Argentina’s oilseed and maritime worker unions announced a strike to protest labor reform bills backed by libertarian President Javier Milei.

Leaders of the maritime union have called for demonstrations at the Argentine Congress.

The strikes coincided with a debate on the bills in the Argentine Congress. Both economic reform bills call for privatizations, tighter fiscal policies, taxes on high salaries, and labor reform, as reported by Reuters.

Argentina is one of the world’s largest exporters of soybeans, a key oilseed used for animal feed, food products, and industrial applications.

The revenue gained from these exports is needed to “pay down debt and finance imports for the cash-strapped government amid a prolonged economic slide” according to Reuters.

President Javier Milei was elected to office last fall and has heavily pushed to “exterminate inflation” through economic deregulation, according to the Associated Press. However, he has encountered tough resistance from Argentina’s Congress, political rivals, and governors.

He has not achieved a single “legislative achievement 142 days into his presidency,” according to the Associated Press.

In response to Milei’s prior decision to cut funding to public universities, massive protests broke out across Argentina.

Currently, Argentina is in a recession. In 2023, its inflation hit 211%, the fastest gain in three decades, according to Bloomberg.

on April 30, the strikes were lifted, but are very likely to start again when the bills move into the Argentine Senate.