Thousands of people in Buenos Aires, Argentina, assembled to demonstrate against President Javier Milei’s recent economic policies.
At the demonstration organized by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the protesters expressed their opposition to a decree announced by Milei on Dec. 20 to proceed with sweeping economic reforms.
Speaking to journalists, Gerardo Martinez, general secretary of Argentina’s construction workers’ union, expressed their opposition to the decree.
“We are not questioning President Milei’s legitimacy, but we want him to respect the separation of powers. Workers are defending their constitutional rights,” he said.
The CGT, claiming that Milei’s decree, which promised radical changes in the economy, is unconstitutional, emphasized the need for Congress to oppose the decision.
It pointed out that while the government makes significant economic reforms, it should establish a tripartite dialogue table consisting of businesspeople and unions.
According to the unions, under the decree, the right to strike is limited, employment contracts and severance pay systems are altered, labor rules are redefined, privatization of public companies is facilitated, and the law protecting consumers from price increases in cases where annual inflation exceeds 160% is abolished.
The government recently terminated the contracts of 7,000 public employees, equivalent to 5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), aiming to cut state expenditures by 5% through a decree.
President Milei had previously stated that the country was going through an economically difficult period and that radical decisions would be made.
Emphasizing his commitment to cutting public spending, Milei had announced a reduction in social support expenditures and the privatization of financially struggling public institutions.