Argentina | The General Strike in Argentina and Why Millay's Biggest Challenge Is “Establishing Priorities in the Omnibus Law” | Santiago Rodriguez Red | General Confederation of Labour First general strike | the world

Meera: Argentine unions will “continue the struggle” to bring about the reforms proposed by Millay.

However, the appearance of the streets of Buenos Aires was far from a place of total unemployment. Shops were open, restaurants operated and public transport operated normally, although bookstores and cinemas remained closed. Air traffic was also hit hard, with 295 flights canceled and 26 more rescheduled by Aerolíneas Argentinas.

In a conversation with El Comercio, Argentine political analyst Santiago Rodríguez Rey analyzes the purpose of the general strike, and although the Milei government described the day as a failure, the expert insists that the president will have to face an important week. Congress to ratify its Omnibus Act.

People take part in a demonstration in front of Argentina's Congress during a national strike against Javier Mille's government on January 24, 2024 in Buenos Aires. (Photo by Luis Ropaio/AFP)

/ Luis Ropaio

How much does Wednesday's strike affect the measures Milei wants to impose?

Rather than a strong impact on operations, a strike establishes the position of a union of workers and raises points of disagreement. A way to establish what the trade unions' relationship with the government is. It remains to be seen how strong the transport strike that started today at 6 pm will be.

Although a violent demonstration, do you consider the strike to be coercive?

This is important at the federal level. Protests have been held in various parts of the country. I wouldn't say it's strong, but important.

During the day, the debate on the Omnibus Act was adjourned until next week. Is this because the government lost the support to approve an economic package for the project, as the local media claim?

Instead of losing support, the government's last-minute action saved its position. Once he got the signatures for the most sought-after comment, he closed his comment. But the government is clear that it does not have the votes to go ahead.

The Millay government described the strike as a failure.  (Photo: AFP)

The Millay government described the strike as a failure. (Photo: AFP)

How hard will it be for Miley to pass the Omnibus Act?

The Omnibus Act had significant difficulties from the start, due to the move to implement DNU, which had already raised conflicts with Congress, and little openness to dialogue. So the conversations and negotiations around the law happened more because of the inability to move forward than anything else. It should be taken into account that even if the law is recognized in general, this does not mean that the articles will be recognized. We may generally enact a law, but large parts of its titles, chapters and sections are discarded, so we may have an empty shell.

How are the next discussions planned? What is the opening scene now?

The fact that the sessions have been adjourned until next week will cool things down a bit and allow for a resumption of dialogue so that the plan can continue to be changed. It opens communication.

A woman takes part in a demonstration during a national strike against the Miele government.  (Photo: AFP)

A woman takes part in a demonstration during a national strike against the Miele government. (Photo: AFP)

/ Luis Ropaio

What is Mili's biggest challenge?

His biggest challenge has been establishing priorities, and he continues to struggle with that problem. Because both its omnibus legislation and its need and urgency lack priorities, they propose many things together. It is interesting as a proposal for decisive change for Argentina, but, due to the difficulties of moving forward, it may be a communication piece and not an actual bill. So the conversation in a week's time will establish Miley's priorities within her framework, which will establish priorities in her economic plan and her government plan.

How is the social panorama expected in the coming weeks?

There are proposals to hold marches and rallies around the session next Tuesday. We have to see how they develop and if they develop. Changing the session date isolates this strike somewhat because the session is far away from the strike date. Additionally, unless some tragic event occurs, there will be no new economic activity data, and it will usually be a week of little information.

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