TUBE WORKERS in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, have won a 19 percent wage increase after a strike. They struck for five days, after being offered a rise of just 7 percent by their employers, which will barely keep pace with spiralling inflation.
Their struggle won the support of over 50 political parties, unions and other groups opposing neo-liberalism. The alliance between the tube workers and these wider social movements was forged eight months ago, when the workers struck for a six hour day.
They fought under the slogan “less work so we can all work”.
The workers argued that it was absurd to make the employed work an average of ten hours a day, while one in eight workers in Argentina are unemployed.
The victory in last year’s strike created 500 new jobs and pointed towards an alternative solution to the Argentine economic crisis that began in 2001.
The tube workers’ fight won the support of the piqueteros—a powerful movement of unemployed workers that has sprung up in Argentina over the last few years.
A trade union representative for the tube workers, Pianelli Robert, told reporters that their latest strike victory was a “triumph because we have managed to break all the companies’ arguments based on the neo-liberal idea that workers’ misery must increase while the bosses make profits”.