“They take the boys hostage”: general rejection of the Ctera national strike

Ctera nationalized a conflict of provincial scope
Ctera nationalized a conflict of provincial scope (Carlos Cermele/)

The national strike called for this Wednesday by the Confederation of Education Workers of the Argentine Republic (Ctera) due to a judicial conflict in Chubut, garnered criticism and repudiation from a large part of the political class and different actors from civil society linked to the educational field. the national senator Martin Lousteau He was the one who led the rejection and assured that the teacher unionists “take the kids hostage”.

It is shameful and inadmissible that children throughout the country today do not have classes because a trade unionist is facing legal proceedings for having set fire to the Chubut legislature. They take the boys hostage without taking responsibility for violent acts that the accused himself acknowledged”, published the legislator of Evolution on his official Twitter account.

Last week, Ctera announced the force measure and nationalized a conflict of provincial scope. It is that Santiago Goodman, former general secretary of Atech, the strongest union in Chubut, was found guilty of the fire that occurred in the Chubut Legislature in the midst of a long protest in 2019.

This Wednesday, before Judge María Tolomei, the Prosecutor’s Office requested the sentence of 5 years in prison of effective fulfillment for Goodman. Instead, the defense requested 15 days in prison for the crime of damage or 3 years of suspended compliance, with the case reserved for appeal.

From the Buenos Aires government they assured that behind the measure of force the political interests of the trade unionists are hidden. “In the City teachers are working today. Those who stop are the trade unionists of the ‘closed classrooms’ who in recent times have given us plenty of signs that their political interests will always be above the education of boys and girls”, They pointed out from the portfolio that Soledad Acuña commands.

The deputy and former Minister of Education of the Nation, Alexander Finocchiaro, assured that the strike seeks to condition the Judiciary. “In the same way as the Moyano truckers, who blocked San Nicolás demanding the release of two leaders detained for extortion and coercion of a company, Roberto Baradel puts his union apparatus to avoid a sentence for a common crime”.

“This is a new example that explains why the bill that we promoted with Cristian Ritondo, head of our legislative bloc, is necessary to declare education an essential strategic service. There are already 1,097 class days lost among all the country’s provinces due to teacher strikes since the recovery of democracy in 1983. They are equivalent to more than six entire school cycles, ”he added.

Finocchiaro considered that “a good part of the Argentine decadence, of the growing poverty, of the intolerable degree of social disintegration, is explained by the educational decomposition of the last 20 years. At that stage, Ctera not only officiated as a union, but was the managing arm of Kirchnerism in the system. He tilted the field to end the school-engine of social promotion to turn it into indoctrination centers that multiply dependency and ignorance. For all these things we need to declare education an essential strategic service”.

In this sense, he announced that next week, with Ritondo, a campaign will begin with the neighbors to share the central aspects of the project that they promote and add adhesions that help turn it into law. “If education is important when asking, it should also be important when giving. The boys must be in the classrooms always. Only then will we have the possibility of building the country in which we want to live”, he concluded.

Image of the fire in the Chubut Legislature in 2019 (courtesy @SindicalesSur)
Image of the fire in the Chubut Legislature in 2019 (courtesy @SindicalesSur)

The incidents occurred on the night of September 17, 2019. The Atech union was holding a camp in front of the Chubut Legislature. Goodman is accused of setting fire to rubber tires that led to the building fire. He is accused of having started the fire “intentionally” and, in addition to causing material damage, the prosecutor considers that he put people’s lives at risk.

As part of this protest, in the early hours of September 18, two teachers, Jorgelina Ruiz Díaz and María Cristina Aguilar, died in a traffic accident on their way back from the march.

The fire was one more episode of an extensive conflict between teachers and the government of Mariano Arcioni, which was triggered by failure to pay wages. The governor had promised in April of that year to adjust salaries to inflation and then could not sustain it. In 2019 there were practically no classes in Chubut public schools due to teacher strikes.

The Minister of National Education, Jaime Perczyk, revalidated the right to strike, but also stressed the importance of fulfilling each day in the classroom. “Anyone can claim and petition, but we believe that there should be classes today”, he said in dialogue with Marcelo Longobardi for CNN Radio.

“Anyone can claim, but today the right to education of boys should be at the center of discussions, occupations and concerns,” he added and assured that they have tried to reverse the strike, but there is no discussion of parties, there is a claim to another power of the province. “There is a claim against a judicial decision of the justice of a province and we are not a party to that,” she concluded.

The final decision of the judge will be known next Thursday, September 18 at 12 noon.

Keep reading:

Teacher strike throughout the country: a picket of teachers causes traffic chaos in Corrientes and Callao

Downtown Buenos Aires will once again be in chaos: picketers ask for a bonus and to be received by Sergio Massa

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