BWI in solidarity with Argentinian workers and trade unions

In Argentina, democracy and fundamental rights are under threat! Solidarity with Argentinean workers and trade unions!

Javier Milei, who took office on 10 December 2023, is already implementing his extreme right-wing policies, posing serious threats to democracy and the fundamental rights of citizens in Argentina, starting with those of workers.

At the end of December, the Argentinean president presented the Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) and the Omnibus Law, attacking over 300 provisions that impact the foundation of individual and collective rights. These measures challenge the democratic foundations of the country, break the separation of powers, and violate the Argentine Constitution. The decree also aims to dismantle public services and social protection, resulting in the dismissal of thousands of Argentinean civil servants already, and implementing austerity that will devastate the Argentinean social model and the rights and interests of Argentinean workers.

Simultaneously, the same government swiftly published a protocol aimed at criminalizing social protest, particularly by allowing the indiscriminate use of state repression against all forms of protest, especially those of workers.

In fact, workers are on the front line concerning these reforms, which include the desire to eliminate labour justice, the undermining of freedom of association and the right to join a union, the strengthening of employers' prerogatives to repress union activity on a daily basis, the introduction of a 10-month probationary period, the practical elimination of the right to strike, and the removal of the right to severance pay for dismissal without a real and serious cause.

These measures also include the dismantling of environmental standards and the surrender of sovereignty over the country's natural resources and land to the desires of international capital.

Milei's policies testify to the profound nature of the extreme right, a mortal danger to the world of work, to public services, and to the environment, and a disregard for the most elementary democratic principles.

BWI expresses its deepest concern about this offensive against the gains of several decades of social and trade union struggles in Argentina, and we invite our affiliates to join us in solidarity with the workers of Argentina, and in particular with BWI affiliates UOCRA, UOLRA, USIMRA, FOCRA, SOCAMGLYP.

We support them wholeheartedly in the process of struggle they have undertaken to confront the deadly policies of Milei and his government. In particular, we support the call for a national strike on 24 January by the country's three trade union confederations. They demand respect for the democratic functioning of the country and its Constitution, as well as the withdrawal of laws that violate countless fundamental rights, starting with the ILO conventions that the country has ratified.

BWI calls on its affiliates to send solidarity videos to the Argentinean comrades and to organise marches to the Argentinean embassies in their countries on 24 January to show our solidarity with the workers and trade unions who are fighting to defend their rights and democracy.

How to participate?

  • Record a short video of a maximum of 10 seconds in landscape format, saying: "From XXXXX (name of your country), I support the general strike in Argentina!"
  • Download and share the campaign materials on your union's social media and tag BWI (@BWIglobal on X/Twitter or @BWIGlobalUnion on Facebook and Instagram).
  • Organise awareness talks in your union on 24 January. Gather workers together and discuss the attack on rights that Argentine workers are subject to.
  • Organise a rally in front of the Argentinean embassy in your country next Wednesday, 24 January. Share your video and actions with BWI Latin America Campaigns Coordinator, Carolina Dantas, via email or [insert relevant contact information].