Hundreds of Argentine workers took to Buenos Aires streets on Wednesday to demand higher wages, welfare plans and more government action to protect jobs threatened by the coronavirus pandemic.
Demonstrators marched through one of Buenos Aires’ main downtown avenues to the Labor Ministry building, where workers urged the country’s socialist government to raise the national minimum wage to $45,000 pesos per month ($581.30 USD) from the current $16,875 pesos ($217.99 USD).
The Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) said the poverty rate spiked to between 46 per cent and 47 per cent by the end of June following months of strict lockdowns to battle the coronavirus.
According to the government’s official statistics agency Indec, 35.5 per cent of Argentines were living in poverty in the second half of 2019.
Argentina’s economy contracted a record 19.1 per cent in the second quarter versus a year earlier as the coronavirus crippled production and demand, and is on track for a 12 per cent economic plunge in 2020, analysts say.
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