The workers of the Buenos Aires Metro are involved in a struggle which is the same that all Argentinean worker are involved in, or would like to be involved in: for a just salary which allows us to live with dignity, to work under reasonable conditions of security and hygiene, and that our rights as workers be respected.
METROVÍAS (the company that owns the Buenos Aires Metro) says they don’t have the money to satisfy the demands of the workers, but this is absolutely false. It brings in $230 million pesos each year ($80 million USD), and receives $65 million pesos ($22 million USD) in subsidies from the state. It also receives additional money from the services it provides within the Metro: advertising, rental of commercial properties, fiber optics, etc., which it does not include in its totals. While salaries between 1993 and 2004 rose by 27 percent, the number of passengers rose by 75 percent, ticket prices went up 55 percent, and the company’s income rose by 350 percent. The increase demanded by the workers amounts to just 7 percent of the company’s income, an amount that will be covered by the projected rise in passengers over the next year. In other words, the company would not lose any of its profits.
So why does METROVÍAS refuse to acknowledge the just demands of the workers? Because they want to increase their profits even more. The 39 directors who make up the management of METROVÍAS earn a combined $600,000 pesos each month ($200,000 USD), and there are some who earn $44,000 pesos ($15,000 USD) every month. And still these parasites want to earn more at the expense of the workers and the passengers.
METROVÍAS does not use its profits to invest in better security and quality of service. The infrastructure is dilapidated, the metro cars are not in good condition. The only investments are being made by the State with public money.
METROVÍAS wants to provoke a conflict by using the workers and passengers as hostages so it can demand that the state approve of higher ticket prices and increase subsidies to the Metro, in order to increase its profits. This is the truth of the matter. As in the case of the telephone workers, the Metro workers are giving all workers an example of the need to struggle against the bosses who are very skillful in collecting millions by super-exploiting the workers and continually raising rates.
All support to the struggle of the Metro workers!
METROVÍAS can pay!
No to price raises!
Re-nationalization of the Metro without compensation and under workers’ and passengers’ control!
Workers: let’s follow the example of the Metro and telephone workers in making our own demands!
-Corriente Socialista EL MILITANTE- (Argentina)
What are the Metro workers asking for?
- Back pay at the rate of 2 percent of the monthly wage per year of service
- Restore bonus pay for night work, which was illegally taken away
- An increase in funding for daycare / crèche facilities
- A raise of 50 percent of the base wage