Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Argentine Attack on Pensioners Income

Opponents of a proposed pension reform bill say it would reduce payouts for 17 million Argentinians. The proposed legislation has angered many retirees and prompted trade union leaders to call a general strikeArgentina's largest union, CGT, began a 24-hour general strike at 12:00 p.m. local time (1500 GMT) on Monday in protest of the bill. Hundreds of airline flights were grounded and large areas of Buenos Aires ground to a halt. Demonstrators in several Buenos Aires neighborhoods also took to the streets banging pots and pans. The gesture holds a deep symbolic meaning for Argentinians who marched during the 2002 economic crisis with pots and pans, before eventually forcing then-President Fernando de la Rua to resign.

"We have no one to defend us," said 70-year-old retiree Cristina Sanmero,"At my age, I have to come here and defend my contributions of 30 years. We're governed by inept people who think that it's easier to take away from the old."

Proposed legislation would change the way pension increases are calculated, with payments adjusted every quarter based on inflation, rather than twice-yearly based on wage hikes and tax revenue.  Union leaders argue the change would cut pensions and retirement for some 17 million Argentinians, as well as reduce aid and welfare for poor families.

"This bill will put millions of retirees at risk. It changes the whole pension system," Laura Rivas, a 34-year-old teacher, told the Reuters news agency. "We are going to have to work more years before we can retire, and then the pension payments we get will be minimal, so it hurts us as workers," she added.

No comments: