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Confederación General del Trabajo de la República Argentina
The CGT or Confederación General del Trabajo de la República Argentina (General Labour Federation of Argentina) is a national trade union center of Argentina founded on September 27, 1930 as the result of the merge of the USA (Unión Sindical Argentina) and the COA (Confederación Obrera Argentina) trade union centers.
After the coup d'etat of 1943, its leaders are seduced by the pro-working class policies of the Labour Minister, Col. Juan Domingo Perón. When Perón is separated from the government and confined in the Martín García island, the CGT calls for a major popular concentration in Plaza de Mayo, achieving his release from prison. Afterwards, the CGT becomes one of the "branches" of the Peronist Movement and the only trade union center recognized by the government.
As the Libertadora Revolution bans its activities, it starts a destabilization campaign to end Perón's proscription and get him back to the country. During the 1960s, its leaders become to dream of a Peronism without Perón. They celebrate president Arturo Umberto Illia overtrhow but fail to reach a stable agreement with the dictator Juan Carlos Onganía. The next years are blemished by ofter bloody internal disputes and the fight against the leftist Montoneros, who in 1973 will kill José Ignacio Rucci , Secretary-General of the CGT.
During the Dirty War, many of its leaders and activists are disapeared , while others negotiate with the militar dictatorship the control of the health care organizations (obras sociales). The CGT splits into
- CGT Azopardo (acordista, led by Jorge Triaca ) and
- CGT Brasil (dissident, led by Saúl Ubaldini ),
named after the streets there headquarters were located.
After Malvinas War, Raúl Alfonsín denounces a "militar-labour pact". After he is elected president of Argentina, he fails on passing through the Senate a new law regulating trade unions and guaranteeing freedom of association. Alfonsín has to negotiate with the CGT, naming one of its men as Minister of Labour.
Under Ubaldini guidance, the CGT launches 13 general strikes against Alfonsín's government. In 1989, with an hyperinflation corroding the economy, the CGT launched a 26 points program to support Carlos Menem bid to the Presidency, including measures such as declaring an unilateral external debt default. After Menem win the elections, he doesn't exactly follow that program, leaving the Ministry of Economy to the Bunge y Born company. In 1996, the CGT finally reacts with a general strike against the neoliberal policies of the government.
In recent years, and despite its strength as the only labour representative in many forums, the CGT is facing growing opposition from other trade union centers, such as the Central de los Trabajadores Argentinos (CTA) or the left-leaning grassroot organizations of unemployed people, known as piqueteros .
- Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Español - Confederación General del Trabajo de la República Argentina. Original version in Spanish, released under GNU FDL.
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