Friday, 27 July 2012

Argentine union leader confesses he never believed in the “official inflation rate”

Argentina’s Metal workers union (UOM) leader Antonio Caló said on Thursday he “never believed in the (official stats office) Indec” and openly estimated that inflation in the country is running at “23% to 24%”.

Caló. Our union has its own stats office and inflation is running from 23% to 24%

“I never believed in the Indec figures, not now nor when Central Bank Resolution 1050 which allowed banks to take over workers homes”, said Caló interviewed by a local Buenos Aires radio.

Resolution 1050 allowed banks to grant credits with no before hand agreement on interest rates and would let banks apply market rates, at a time when hyperinflation was a common phenomenon in Argentina.

The mention of resolution 1050 has a double significance and is a strong political message since opposition sectors coincide that the origin of the Nestor and Cristina Kirchner’s fortune is precisely this resolution.

The fact it that one of the first jobs of the Kirchner couple at a solicitors’ office was to ensure payments of loans granted under R 1050.

Following his mention of R 1050 Caló insisted that he does not believe in the official Indec inflation rate and revealed that the UOM has its own stats office which measures the “purchasing power of salaries” from union members and which are the basis for wage negotiations with the industry.

“This year we asked for a 24% increase because we believe this year’s inflation rate is going to be in that range, 23% to 24%”, said the metal workers union boss and who is disputing with Hugo Moyano control of Argentine organized labour umbrella organization CGT.

“We have always been willing to reach a deal with Moyano. Now we are on different paths but at some point we will have to join forces: we must think in the whole workers movement”, added Caló.

However “we are not willing to become an opposition CGT; the governments of Nestor and Cristina Kirchner have been very supportive of labour. CGT must not be on the opposition, we must try dialogue”.

However Caló said he had “the same agenda” as Moyano. “All workers must collect family allowance, no matter whatever they make; that is our first demand”, insisted Caló who next October will be participating in a unions’ congress to organize a parallel CGT to that one under the leadership of Hugo Moyano.

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