‘The check is dead’: Argentine workers hold funeral for wages

'The check is dead': Argentine workers hold funeral for wages
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BUENOS AIRES, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Some women were dressed in black funeral garb and sported flower crowns. Other people in the procession in Buenos Aires carried a gigantic coffin. But this funeral procession in the Argentine capital did not honor a person.

Instead, it was to mourn the “death” of Argentine workers’ wages in a country where inflation is expected to reach 90% by the end of this year, sapping workers’ purchasing power despite years of government attempts. government for curbing price increases.

“The situation of the workers is devastating. Before the middle of the month we don’t have more salary, it’s not enough,” said Melisa Gargarello, representative of the Front of Organizations in Struggle (FOL), organizer of the protest. Reuters.

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One protester carried a “medical history” of Argentine wages, a graph showing how inflation has eaten away at the value of paychecks.

While much of the world is battling high single-digit inflation this year, Argentina’s struggles are in a different category.

“The check is dead” read a banner in the symbolic procession, which ran through the main streets of the Argentine capital and ended in front of the Presidential Palace. The flower crowns worn by the women carried the message “RIP the minimum wage.”

The country’s official monthly minimum wage is 45,540 Argentine pesos ($334), while a basic food basket for a family of two adults and two children costs more than double that amount at 111,298 pesos ($817), according to the national statistics institute INDEC.

Years of political efforts to curb inflation have done little to curb price increases, and in July the country posted its highest inflation rate in 20 years. read more

The latest effort involves the appointment of a new economy minister, Sergio Massa, who has been given expanded powers to try to control inflation. Argentines have dubbed him “super minister.” read more

“Today we are holding a symbolic funeral for wages, which we have to say expresses the situation that all workers in Argentina are experiencing,” said FOL’s Maximiliano Maita.

($1 = 136.1500 Argentine pesos)

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Information from Horacio Soria; Written by Carolina Pulice Edited by Leslie Adler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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