On either side of the weekend, union kingpin Hugo Moyano and President Mauricio Macri chose to air their difference with one another over the airwaves. Until recently, the pair had proven they could effectively settle their difference behind closed doors.
“(Hugo) Moyano shouldn’t have any reason to be nervous. Instead he should go to the Judiciary and show that everything is in order”, Macri told Radio Mitre on Monday, addressing Moyano's angry response to news last week that he is facing a number of new corruption charges.
Moyano had told Crónica TV on Thursday: “Now that they (the people in the current government) have power, they think they can take on the world. They think that they own everything. Things aren’t right, the situation isn’t right, especially for workers.”
The president also addressed Moyano’s comments about his father, the controversial businessman Franco Macri.
“He shouldn’t meddle with an 87-year-old man who’s resting in his house”, he said.
Moyano had said: “There is nothing on me. If I’ve committed a crime that means I have to go to jail, let it be in a cell next to (President Mauricio) Macri’s father (Franco)”.
The unions and some sectors of the opposition claim that the government is persecuting unions in order to play a stronger hand in ongoing collective wage bargaining negotiations. The government has also sent a labour reform package to Congress.
“There is no persecution against the union movement. That’s false”, Macri added. “What we have in Argentina is a Judiciary that is waking up and acting independently” against crimes including “the scandalous cases of abuse on the part of some unionists”, he added in reference to recent cases of alleged corruption.
MOYANO'S LEGAL TROUBLES
Moyano and his son Pablo, the current head of the Teamsters Union, were accused last week of fraud and racketeering against the Independiente football club, of which Moyano senior is president.
Moyano is also facing charges dating from 2011 of alleged money laundering and embezzlement of money from the Teamster union’s healthcare fund.