The IUF-affiliated Federation of Food Industry Workers of Argentina is stepping up nationwide pressure to secure a living wage for food workers in this year’s round of collective bargaining negotiations. Living standards in the country have been ravaged by inflation averaging some 25% annually over the past three years. The unofficial figures economists and trade unions rely on put cumulative inflation over the past 5years at 137%, and wages have not kept pace.
Since May, the union has been escalating action in support of a base salary of 5,000 pesos – an increase of 30% over the current rate which the union considers the minimum required for a family of workers. Despite conciliation proceedings initiated by the ministry of labour, negotiations have stalled, with employers unwilling to offer more than 22%.
On June 5, more than 3,000 workers demonstrated in support of their demands outside the labour ministry in Buenos Aires. The union has vowed to step up nationwide protest actions should conciliation fail to win an agreement establishing a living wage.