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Nationwide strike called against Argentine policies

By WITH ANALYSIS FROM MONITOR CORRESPONDENTS AROUND THE WORLD, EDITED BY CLARA GERMANI / July 23, 1981



Buenos Aires

Peronist labor unions called a nationwide strike to protest the economic policies of Argentina's government. One of six commuter rail lines was closed by strikers, and federal police took positions at stations to keep commuter lines open.

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President Roberto Viola's four- month-old military government threatened strikers with dismissal and labor "agitators" with prison sentences. The strike comes amid a deepening economic crisis with a nearly 100 percent inflation rate, massive devaluations of the peso, and a 40 percent unemployment rate. Union sources said they expected massive work stoppages in the industrial belt surrounding Buenos Aires and in hard-hit rural areas and smaller cities.