After port workers in Argentina were designated essential service providers in response to strike action in May – earning them priority access to Covid vaccination – customs officials and oil workers have also decided to strike, hoping for similar success. Both groups plan work stoppages for this week.
Customs officials who process grains exports from the country will strike for seven hours midday on Tuesday. The Argentine Union of Customs Personnel said in a statement that negotiations with the government have been unfruitful and that, “depending on the result, union actions may intensify after Tuesday.”
The Rio Negro, Neuquen and La Pampa Private Oil and Gas Union is threatening to strike as of June 11. Unlike the customs and maritime workers, the union is pushing to privately purchase vaccines for its 24,000 workers, which the government has so far not permitted. “We do not want to get vaccinations from anyone or to be assigned items that are intended for the elderly, educators, health personnel or people at risk. We are willing to pay for them,” said the union’s leader, Guillermo Pereyra.
The Argentina Health Ministry reported on Wednesday that 12.8 million doses had been administered in the country of 45 million inhabitants.