Argentina’s Macri Faces Strike, Discontent

Argentina’s Macri Faces Strike, DiscontentArgentina’s Macri Faces Strike, Discontent

In power for just two months, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri is already facing labor unrest, with a national public sector strike planned for Wednesday as workers protest rocketing inflation and job cuts.

Unions representing hospital staffers and government office workers, among other public sector employees, are staging a one-day walkout across the country, Reuters reported.

It is the first such strike that Macri, Argentina’s first non-Peronist president in more than a decade, has faced since taking over in December with promises to end leftist populism and revive the South American nation’s ailing economy.

One of Macri’s first moves in power was to slim down Argentina’s bloated public payroll, firing thousands to tame a ballooning fiscal deficit. The government also devalued the peso currency and erased long-running fuel subsidies, further stoking inflation already running at 30%.

Although praised by international investors eying Argentina’s rich resources, Macri’s rapid policy moves are fueling rising discontent at home.

Polling firm Ricardo Rouvier & Asociados found that approval of the government, while still relatively high at 60%, has fallen 11 percentage points in the two months since Macri took office. Some 12% of those polled who voted for Macri in November’s election say they would change their vote now.

“The carrying out of the campaign promises seems to me very hurried, not well analyzed, as if they only wanted to show that they are fulfilling their promises,” said 40-year-old Marcelo Garcia, who voted for Macri but said he felt “a bit disappointed”.