Teachers all across Argentina are striking today and tomorrow against the pro-rich policies of the country's billionaire president Mauricio Macri. They are demanding better pay and conditions - a 35% rise - a modest demand considering inflation is running at 40%. Only last year, Macri withdrew the subsidy on gas, increasing prices of the fuel by 700%. He also massively increased the costs of public utilities like electricity, water and transport and laid off thousands of public sector workers. Meanwhile he has paid the vulture funds holding Argentina's debt.
Today's strike is on the first day of the new school year and tomorrow the teachers will be joined by other trade unionists, determined to resist the increasingly unpopular policies of Macri's government. Last year, he promised that wages and conditions would start to improve as inward investment flowed in, a development which failed to materialise. Now he is promising the same in 2017, with no evidence to support the claim. In fact only the rich are doing well in the country: their wealth is increasing, while the poor get ever poorer.
The leader of the education workers in the capital, Buenos Aires said: “This government is giving all sorts of tax breaks and financial loopholes for the wealthiest and most powerful companies and sectors of Argentina, while the workers suffer from salary reductions as part of a plan of harsh economic austerity and massive rate hikes in vital services.”