The good harmony between the CGT and the government of Alberto Fernández does not prevent the unions from profiling by 2022 open joint negotiations and with quarterly or semi-annual closings taking into account the evolution of inflation during the year. This happened in 2021, when La Rosada and the unions agreed that wages narrowly beat the rise in prices. And so it is expected to be in the year that has just begun.
However, there is a point where each union source consulted coincides. Nobody believes in the 33% annual inflation projected by the Minister of the Economy Martín Guzmán in the budget plan that is still awaiting approval from Congress. “Talking about numbers, when we still do not have the closings for 2021, it is useless. We have to wait for what happens in January and February, because most of the joint ventures begin to renegotiate from March,” he begins, cautiously, Héctor Daer, one of the heads of the CGT, before the consultation of Clarion.
However, the Health referent, in good dialogue with the President, maintains that 33% raised by the Government in the frustrated Budget “is not viable” Coming from a year that will close around a 50% price increase. “The search, again, has to be not to lose against inflation,” he explains.
For Daer, however, in the short term it is necessary to find “a mechanism that allows inflation to be lowered without losing purchasing power” because what has been done to equalize wages and prices is “running from behind”. “Even if it is achieved, it always ends up having erosion and variables that escape us,” he says. And he gives an example from the automotive industry: “There were car prices that went up 100% in one year”.
Héctor Daer, one of the members of the CGT triumvirate.
The key: what happens between January and March
The head of the CGT, like other trade unionists, considers that what happens in the first quarter of the year with prices will be decisive. “One thing will be to negotiate parities with an accumulated 6 or 7% in three months, and another with one of 15/20%,” he says.
Anyway, he warns that “one should not go crazy with a sharp drop in inflation, because a shock can generate a recession“There is a sign of support from the labor union to the Government: any plan that is carried out cannot generate more poverty.
The inflationary context does not escape the meetings that the representatives of the labor union have been having with the Government in recent days, mainly the one called by the Ministry of Economy, which included union members and businessmen, to review the details of the strategy in the negotiation with the IMF regarding an agreement for prices and wages. Not only was Daer at the summit with Guzmán, but the head of the UOM, Antonio Caló, that of the Insurance Union, Jorge Sola, and that of UPCN, Andrés Rodríguez.
Leaders of other unions consulted by Clarion they also agree that There is a year of negotiations that have closings of three to six months, with review clauses, largely repeating the scheme closed with the Government during 2021.
Unions with high level of representation such as construction (Uocra), with 325,000 employees nationwide, will reopen the negotiations from April, after having closed a 47.8% increase until that month, with an agreement to review that percentage if the interannual inflation exceeds it and having a pending installment from last year to pay.
The Guild of oilmen, while, signed the first agreement of the year at the end of 2021: a rise of 39% that will be reviewed next August, well above the government’s inflation guideline, which sets inflation at 33%. For many economists, that number seeks, among other things, to contain salary expectations.
Oil makers is a boy union, which formally bears the name of the Federation of Workers of the Oilseed Industrial Complex, Cotton Stripper and Related Workers, with some 15,000 employees, but which usually closes the best joint ventures in the entire sector from the salary point of view.
Bancarios, by Sergio Palazzo, is one of the first unions to negotiate joint 2022.
The initial basic of an oil man, after the agreement, which has already been approved, it will remain in $ 153,000, with the bonus that meant having received an extraordinary bonus for $ 104,000. As a background, according to industry sources, in 2021 the increase achieved by oil producers exceeded 60%, well above inflation. For 2022, they envision a similar final number, after what is revised in August.
Banking It is another of the unions that better jointly close regularly. The union led by the now national deputy of the Frente de Todos Sergio Palazzo comes from round 2021 with a total increase of 51% that brought the starting salary of the sector to more than $ 122,000.
That of the banks will be, in 2022, one of the first large negotiations to be carried out, with the expectation of repeating a similar scheme to last year: First it had agreed to a 29% rise, with a readjustment in the middle of the year that brought it to 43% and closing with eight more points in December that crowned 51% globally.
Commerce, the largest union in the country, with more than one million employees, has been negotiating with the private sector a revision of the agreement that had closed at 41.5% due in February. The final sum of 2021, with that plus of about 10 more points, is expected to exceed 50%.
Truckers, meanwhile, has a 45% agreement between July 2021 and March 2022, with a review clause scheduled for February that will also raise the percentage above year-on-year inflation. In March, it should be remembered, the last installment of 12.5% of the parity that the union closed will be charged.