Mauricio Macri: Argentine Labor Market Needs Urgent Reforms

By: Raquel García - @venturaG79 - Dec 2, 2016, 5:38 pm
Argentine President Mauricio Macri has called for reforms to existing labor regulations (NYT).


On Thursday, Argentine President Mauricio Macri urged businessmen and trade unionists to discuss with the government how to “improve productivity” in the country and suggested the idea of reviewing collective bargaining agreements.

Macri, who visited a factory of the renowned Argentine cookie company Havanna, indicated that the way to add value is “to add work for all Argentines.” This, he says, will help to combat poverty; which in Argentina stands at 32% of the population.

“We need many factories like these, which use the power of new technologies to go from being the world’s breadbasket to being the world’s supermarket to being the world’s provider of gourmet foods. What do we need to do to make that happen? We need to add value to our raw materials: flour, sugar, corn, soy, and energy, we have to add value, which will increase employment for the Argentines,” he said.

The head of state stressed that to achieve this, government, business, and trade unions must sit down at the table to discuss how to improve productivity. “Productivity means that everyone does their best. Do your best. And the government must do its best as well,” added the president.

Macri said that his country currently has the “highest payroll taxes in the world” and that they affect “half of the Argentine population.”

“The payroll taxes are paid by half of the Argentines. We have the highest payroll taxes in the world. There are many things we could improve and correct; and the countries that have grown the most in recent years are the ones that have developed the strongest commercial relationships among themselves,” he emphasized.

The Argentine president’s suggestion to revise labor agreements, has brought him many criticisms from the guilds and trade unions.

“The trade union have to be an important part at the negotiation table. You have to lower the level of litigiousness. The labor agreements of the twentieth century do not function well in the twenty-first century, because we are in a different world,” said Macri.

Macri had already indicated on November 21 that maintaining previous agreements was weaken the labor market and causing unemployment. These statements irritated the leadership of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) who argued that Macri’s statements violate the rights of workers.

“If the workers are not governed by labor agreements, it will lead to instability, since if employers become angry with a worker they can change the terms of his job description, which is currently not permitted under labor regulations,” said Carlos Acuña, one of the members of the CGT leadership triumvirate, who made his views known to the president.

“Meddling in the internal life of unions, and seeking to reform the trade unions is the dream of employers,” he added in statements published by the news site Ámbito.

Meanwhile, another labor leader, Héctor Daer, described Macri’s statement as “unfortunate,” arguing that, “The president has to worry about governing, and creating jobs; not destroying the rights of workers,” he said.

Source: La Nacion, Ambito

Raquel García Raquel García

Raquel García is a Venezuelan journalist with over 16 years of experience in digital outlets and radios. She currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Follow her @venturaG79.

Narco-Nephew Squeals on Maduro’s Corruption in US Trial

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Dec 2, 2016, 3:49 pm
Nicolas Maduro's nephew has caused

Español "Nicolás Maduro and Diosdado Cabello divided up Venezuela between themselves after Chavez's death." This was the affirmation of Efraín Campo Flores, one of the "narcosobrinos" of the Venezuelan presidential family, according to recordings that were released to the American newspaper El Nuevo Herald. In a report published by Antonio Maria Delgado, the "inheritance" Chavez to his two closest allies was the sharing of power: "Diosdado Cabello controlled tax revenues, mining, and food" while Nicolás Maduro controlled oil revenues. Read More: Bankrupt Venezuela Can't Pay its Diplomats Around the World Read More: Venezuelan Officials Want to Regulate Social Media to "Prevent Violence" This explanation was given by the "narco-nephew" when he divulged the power accumulated by Cabello in a meeting with an alleged representative of the Sinaloa Cartel, who was actually cooperating with the American DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency). googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Another of the shocking revelations detailed the use of drug funds to finance the electoral campaigns of Chavismo, as well as the arbitrary use of the judicial system to imprison those who represented a threat to the executive branch. Campo explained that part of the proceeds from the 800 kilogram cocaine shipment would be sent to leaders of Chavismo located in different states in order to buy votes, with around USD $100 budgeted per vote. According to El Nuevo Herald, all these statements were made at the end of an October 2015 meeting between Campo Flores and DEA informant José Santos Peña, which took place in Caracas. "We made a pact, behind closed doors" and Cabello said: "Leave these three things to me (the collection of taxes, mining, and control of preferential dollars linked to food imports) and you have complete control of petroleum," Campo explained in the conversation, which had been organized in order to negotiate multiple shipments of cocaine to the United States. In the same audio, the "narco-nephew" affirms that Diosdado Cabello maintains control of all the ports and airports of the South American country. But one of the most attractive business sectors in Venezuela is access to the preferential dollar exchange rate for food imports, which enjoys a much lower exchange rate, when compared to the parallel exchange rate, which is all that is available to the overwhelming majority of Venezuelans. The official exchange rate for priority imports has a preferential rate of 10 bolivars to the dollar, compared to the parallel rate (black market) that has recently fluctuated around 4,600 bolivares fuertes to the dollar. Corrupt operations with dollars acquired with the preferential rate and then diverted to the black market, where they generate colossal profits, have cost the nation more than US $25 billion, according to Chavez's former minister of Planning and Finance, Jorge Giordani. Source: The New Herald

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