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Argentine Court Suspends Milei’s Labor Reform


Milei's labor reform
Argentine court suspends Milei’s labor reform as a precautionary measure – Credit: Vox / Public domain

The Argentine court has suspended the labor reform included in the package of measures of President Javier Milei, as a precautionary measure. Argentina’s Chamber of Labor Appeals has suspended, on a precautionary basis, the labor section of the mega-decree to deregulate the economy. This is the first judicial setback for Milei and comes only a little more than three weeks after he took office, and two weeks after the approval of the decree, which modifies hundreds of regulations.

The precautionary measures were requested by the General Labor Confederation (CGT), the largest union in the country, and will be in force until the Court of Appeals makes “a definitive decision on the merits”.

Cut in severance and maternity benefits

The so-called “Decree of Necessity and Urgency” modifies or repeals some 300 laws and regulations, especially in the labor field, price control, privatization of companies and exports and imports.

The section now judicially suspended lengthened from 3 to 8 months the probationary period for new contracts, reduced maternity leave and lowered severance pay. It also limited the right to strike, with dismissals in case of occupation, among other measures to reduce workers’ rights.

Milei’s government has already announced that it will appeal the suspension of measures that it justified in order to reduce regulations that “have slowed down, hindered and prevented economic growth”. In the order of the Court of Appeals, the judges state that many of the suspended measures “have a repressive or punitive character”, and that there is no justification as to how they can remedy the crisis that exists in the country.

Will need political alliances

On the judicial front, Milei still has a dozen more appeals against his decree, and on the political front he must get the support of other political parties, because in the parliament he is only the third force. La Libertad Avanza, the president’s party, has only 37 of the 129 deputies necessary to pass laws in Congress, that is to say, it needs to add 92 more votes in favor of its thesis among different parliamentary forces.

For the time being, they have only managed to add two external deputies as allies, so that the ruling party has 40 votes, still far from the majority. Although the first alliances with other groups have already been established, Milei’s intransigence to designate the authorities of the Congress does not make it easy to add external parties to his coalition, such as Propuesta Republicana, the party of the conservative Patricia Bullrich, who asked for Milei’s vote in the second round, and who has 37 deputies in the Congress.

First general strike

On the social front, the CGT has already called a half-day general strike for January 24, the fastest strike ever faced by an Argentine government in the 40 years of the recovery of democracy, only a month and a half after coming to power.

The strike will begin at 12 noon until midnight on January 24. It includes a mobilization to Congress, where the day before the government expects to approve another package of legislative measures to complement those already approved.

“The idea is to…..demand that politics, which is the Parliament, act in favor of workers and civil society, which is where 100% of the adjustment is made,” CGT sources told the Argentine daily Clarín.

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