nationwide union strike tests mileis policies for argentina

It has been six weeks since President Javier Milei took office in Argentina, and since then, gas prices have doubled, inflation has soared and the value of the national currency has plummeted.

Such turmoil, he had warned, should be expected. Fixing decades of economic problems would first require more pain, he said.

Yet on Wednesday, many Argentines plan to take to the streets to show they have already had enough.

Argentina’s largest labor unions plan a nationwide strike — including workers in transportation, construction, health care, food services, energy and banking — to protest Mr. Milei’s planned overhauls, arguing they would weaken protections for workers and the poor. More than 100,000 people are expected to demonstrate across the country.

Pablo Moyano, a union leader, told reporters that Mr. Milei “is crapping on Congress and crapping on workers.” Mr. Milei has shot back that the protest shows “there are two Argentinas” — one stuck in the past and another that “puts us on the path to be a developed country.”

Still, more Argentines appear to agree with Mr. Milei. Despite the economic chaos, Mr. Milei’s approval rating has stayed high, or even risen along with prices. Recent surveys show 58 percent of Argentines support him, two percentage points higher than his share of the November presidential vote.

Gas prices have doubled since President Javier Milei took office in Argentina about six weeks ago.

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