Latin America & Caribbean

Buenos Aires streets empty as transport strike hits

A train station is seen during a one-day nationwide strike in Buenos Aires on 31 March, 2015. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Train stations in Buenos Aires were deserted on Tuesday morning

The streets of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, remained largely empty on Tuesday morning as a number of transport workers' unions went on a 24-hour strike.

Many national and international flights were cancelled and train and underground stations looked deserted.

Trade unionists, who complain about high inflation and high taxes, also blocked some roads.

The government has defended its tax system as fair.


Protesters blocking the Pueyrredon Bridge, one of the main access routes into the city, said they would keep the blockade going until at least midday.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Strike leaders said buses would not run on Tuesday as drivers were heavily unionised

Banks are also expected to remain closed and there will be no rubbish collection, strike leaders said.

Local bus drivers are also expected to adhere to the stoppage.

Schools will open but many parents said that without public transport, they would not be able to send their children to class.

The workers are demanding a tax on their income be revoked.

But Cabinet Chief Anibal Fernandez said only between six and eight per cent of workers had to pay this particular tax.


The strike leaders are also demanding an increase in pensions and measures to combat inflation, which they say is eroding their salaries.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Tube stations remained shuttered in Buenos Aires

The trade union movement in Argentina is divided into those who back the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and those who think it is not doing enough to help workers.

This latest stoppage is being led by Hugo Moyano of the more radical wing of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) and Pablo Micheli of the Central Workers' Union (CTA).

Analysts say the strike is also intended to send a signal to all Argentine politicians about the enduring power of the country's trade unions ahead of presidential elections in October.

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