Argentina's most powerful union leader Hugo Moyano returned to the airwaves over the weekend to attack President Mauricio Macri's national government and to rally support for a protest which the unions have scheduled for February 22.
A defensive Moyano said that he “prefers to go to jail or die” than support the labour reform package which the national government hopes to pass into law in the first half of 2018.
“For four months they’ve been asking me to support the labour reform… They’ve said: ‘You’ve got to support it’. But I’d prefer to go to to jail or die before supporting something that goes against workers”, he told Cronica TV.
Moyano claimed the government was “extorting the people” by attacking the union movement.
Moyano and his followers will protest before the Social Development Ministry along the 9 de Julio avenue on February 22 at 6pm. They will be joined by the Buenos Aires provincial branch of the Justice Party (JP) and sectors of the CGT, of which Moyano until recently was president.
Tensions are continuing to heighten between the union movement and the national government after Moyano and his son Pablo, the current head of the Teamsters Union, were accused in January of fraud and racketeering against the Independiente football club, of which Moyano senior is president.
Moyano senior is also facing charges of money laundering and embezzlement of funds belonging to the Teamsters union’s health care fund.
Until recently, Moyano and Macri had proven they could effectively settle their difference behind closed doors. However, even the president has spoken out publicly.
“(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 last month, addressing Moyano's angry response to news last week that he is facing a number of new corruption charges.
Moyano had told Crónica TV in January: “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.”