PSI General Secretary Daniel Bertossa's message of support to Argentinean affiliates

PSI affiliates in Argentina, the national trade union centres and other allies in the broader trade union movement are preparing for a strike and mobilisation at the National Congress on January 24 to stop the advance of both the ‘Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU)’ and the so-called ‘Omnibus Law’

Dear comrades from Argentina,

My name is Daniel Bertossa. I'm the newly elected General Secretary of Public Services International, PSI, and I'm speaking to you from our headquarters in Geneva.

On behalf of the 30 million public service workers represented by PSI, I extend my support to all our affiliates and trade union centres in Argentina who are going on a national strike this 24th of January against the measures taken by Javier Milei's extreme right-wing and neoliberal government.

In just 10 days in office, Milei issued the “Decree of Necessity and Urgency”, that granted him special powers to modify more than 300 regulations that affect and destroy crucial areas in all parts of Argentinian life, such as health, tourism, medicines, domestic trade, the media, and regional economies.

This decree also portrays unions as enemies and is directly attacking the rights to strike and freedom of organisation.

In parallel to this, Milei has also presented his so-called "Omnibus Law", which has 1.649 articles attacking all areas of social and political life, including the state architecture. It’s a law that would lead to the systematic dismantling of public services that Argentinian citizens rely on. 

Milei says that these actions will help Argentina emerge from the serious economic and social crisis in which the country is engulfed. 

But history and the examples in other countries around the world will tell us exactly the opposite.

These solutions don’t work. Instead, they create social unrest, they destroy public services and they undermine democracy.

And like other right-wing populist governments in other parts of the world who have profited from the suffering of ordinary people, he knows that unions will never let this happen. So the first thing he must do is to weaken workers and their organizations.

And that’s why it’s essential that we stop both the decree and the law, reminding the government that electoral legitimacy doesn't grant it a “carte blanche” to undermine the hard-earned social gains of workers over the decades.

And we must ensure that the right to freedom of association and organization is a non-negotiable pillar for maintaining democracy.

Affiliates and members of PSI who were at our Congress late last year said this at our Congress and we will keep saying it: the way out of the multiple crises we are living through is not through ultra-liberal paths; it’s by putting people over profit.

Trabajadores unidxs jamás serán vencidos!

Muchas gracias!