Argentina: FIT Unidad statement on the political crisis

Alberto Fernandez y su gobierno en crisis

We share the statement of the Workers´ Left Front Unity, that the Argentine ISL section MST is part of, in the face of the open political crisis in the country.

A few days after the electoral defeat of the Peronism of the Frente de Todos (Front of Everybody) in the PASO (primaries), there has been a huge political crisis in the governing coalition. Vice President Cristina Fernández summoned President Alberto Fernández to make a cabinet change and he responded by showing up at a public ceremony with some of the questioned ministers. The background of this crisis is the enormous electoral defeat of the government, which lost 5 million votes.

The Workers´ Left Front Unity (FITU), which in these elections has positioned itself as the third national political force of the workers, denounces that what is being discussed in this crisis is not a change of social and political orientation, but quotas of power of both of the fractions of the ruling coalition and cosmetic changes to try to reverse the defeat towards the general elections of November 14.

All the parties in conflict are fighting for an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which will imply more austerity, misery, dependency and backwardness for the country during the next decades. In the coming days with the unanimous agreement of the Frente de Todos, Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change) and even Milei and Espert, Argentina will make a payment of 1.8 billion dollars to the IMF.

Those who now speak of restoring a sort of IFE (emergency Covid subsidy) for a small part of the poor as a short-term electoralist cosmetic measure, not only did not mention the issue during the campaign towards the PASO, but were also the ones who voted an austerity budget that lowered social expenses 53%. Those who now say that “we have to put money in people’s pockets” were the same who, before the start of the pandemic, eliminated retirement mobility in a year in which retirees and those who receive social benefits were going to face a higher increase of inflation and there is a huge wage theft in the labor negotiations.

The deepening of the historical drop in the salaries of public employees was not the work of the pandemic, but a political decision of this government, endorsed by the UPCN and ATE bureaucracy. The same is true of the minimum wage of poverty, approved by all the wings of the union bureaucracy. Nor can the pandemic be held responsible of the repression with 4000 Buenos Aires troops led by Berni against the struggle for land and housing in Guernica to build a gated community with golf course included.

As we said in the 2019 presidential campaign and throughout this 2021 campaign, it is totally incompatible to recover what was lost during Macri´s term without ceasing to pay the usurious, illegitimate and fraudulent foreign debt, saying “no to the IMF,” as we hold from the left.

Faced with the onslaught of the Kirchnerist fraction and related sectors, expressed in the offers of resignation of several ministers and other senior officials, Alberto Fernández began to receive support from all the governors, the same ones that guaranteed. Each end every one of Macri´s laws of austerity and delivery in Congress. Likewise, he received the support of the CGT, which is a direct accomplice to the collapse of wages and growing job insecurity. In the same way as some pro-government “social movements”, such as the Evita Movement, abandoned the streets while hunger and poverty raged in all popular neighborhoods.

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The not yet denied offer by Kirchnerism to Sergio Massa of the position of Chief of Staff, and Cristina’s call to Guzmán, who is carrying out negotiations with the IMF, to ratify that he does not question his continuity, clearly show that no “progressive” or “nationalist” turn has been proposed. Massa is the same who accompanied Macri in Davos in 2016, head of a block that voted Macri´s laws and now one of the main interlocutors of the ruling party with the financial bourgeoisie of Wall Street.

The FITU stands with the workers’ organizations, trade unions, internal commissions and bodies of anti-bureaucratic delegates, of the self-convened, of the piquetero movement that is independent of the government, and proposes a program of struggle with a policy opposed by the vertex both to those of the government and of all variants of the bosses’ opposition. And we point out the need to mobilize, not in defense of the government, but in support of the struggles and demands of the employed labor sectors, the independent piquetero movement, the precarious youth, in favor of environmental and gender struggles.

Emergency salary increase. No one should earn less than the cost of a family basket and wages should be indexed monthly according to the increase in the cost of living (100,000 pesos today). No more layoffs. Distribution of working hours without affecting salary. Reduction of the working day to six hours, five days, without salary reduction, distribute available working hours among the employed and the unemployed. Occupation of any factory that closes or dismisses, insurance for the unemployed of 40,000 pesos, plan of public works and housing to solve the urgent needs of the neighborhoods. Immediate increase in the health and public education budgets.

We clearly affirm that we must not pay the foreign debt and must ignore the Macri-IMF agreement, using those enormous funds for salaries, pensions, jobs, health and education. Together with this proposal, we point out that the nationalization of the banking system is necessary to prevent capital flight and putting national savings at the service of the popular sectors. End the private oligopoly and create the state monopoly of foreign trade, so that exporters do not transfer international prices to the interior of the country.

Against the support of the bureaucracy to the government and its pacts with the Monetary Fund, we propose the rupture of the workers’ organizations with the government. For a plan of struggle of the entire labor movement (employed and unemployed) to impose a workers and popular solution and that this time the crisis be paid by those who caused it, the capitalists, big businessmen, the bankers and landowners.

In this framework, after having achieved a great election in the PASO throughout the country, we call on the workers and the people to strengthen the FITU, as the only independent political force against the government and the different variants of the employers’ opposition, and to fight for a workers´ way out of the crisis.