MundoAndino Home : Argentina Guide at MundoAndino

General Confederation of Labour (Argentina)

Topics: Politics of Argentina Trade unions of Argentina

The General Confederation of Labour is a national trade union center of Argentina founded on September 27, 1930 as the result of the merge of the USA (Union Sindical Argentina) and the COA (Confederacion Obrera Argentina) trade union centers.

After the coup d'etat of 1943, its leaders embraced the pro-working class policies of the Labour Minister, Col. Juan Domingo Peron. When Peron was separated from the government and confined in the Martin Garcia island, the CGT called for a major popular concentration in Plaza de Mayo, succeeding in releasing Peron from prison. Afterwards, the CGT became one of the strongest arms of the Peronist Movement, and the only trade union center recognised by Peron's government.

After the Libertadora Revolution, the CGT was banned from politics. In response, the CGT began a destabilisation campaign to end Peron's proscription and get him back to the country. During the 1960s, the leaders of the CGT attempted to create a "Peronism without Peron", that is, a form of Peronism that retained the ideals set forth by Juan Peron but not founded on the personality cult that had existed around him in the 1940s and 1950s. They celebrated president Arturo Umberto Illia's overthrow in 1966, but failed to reach an agreement with dictator Juan Carlos Ongania. The next years were blemished by often bloody internal disputes and the fight against the leftist Montoneros. In 1973, a commando killed Jose Ignacio Rucci, Secretary-General of the CGT and Peron's friend. Montoneros, who neither claimed responsibility nor denied it, are accused of Rucci's death.

During the Dirty War of the second half of the 1970s, many of the CGT's leaders and activists disappeared, while others negotiated with the military dictatorship the control of the medical-care health-insurance organisations (obras sociales). The CGT split into

CGT Azopardo and

CGT Brasil ,

named after the streets on which the headquarters were located.

After Falklands War , Raul Alfonsin denounces a "militar-labour pact". After he is elected president of Argentina, he fails on passing through the Senate a new law regulating trade unions and guaranteeing freedom of association. In his negotiations with the CGT, Alfonsin had cede the sit of the Minister of Labour to CGT man Hugo Barrionuevo.

Under Ubaldini's guidance, the CGT launched 13 general strikes during Alfonsin's government. In 1989, with an hyperinflation corroding the economy, the CGT introduced a 26-point program to support Carlos Menem bid to the Presidency, including measures such as declaring a unilateral external debt default. After winning the elections, Menem didn't quite follow all the progressive points on the campaign platform, leaving the Ministry of Economy to the Bunge y Born company. In 1996, during Menem's second mandate, the CGT finally reacts with a general strike against the neoliberal policies of the government.

In recent years, and in spite its strength as the only labour representative in many forums, the CGT is facing growing opposition from other trade union centers, such as the Central de Trabajadores Argentinos (CTA), or the left-leaning grassroots organisations of unemployed people known as Piqueteros (Picketing Men).


Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Espanol - CGT. Original version in Spanish, released under GNU FDL.

CGT official site

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article General Confederation of Labour (Argentina)