By Horacio Soria
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Some women wore black funeral attire with flower crowns. Others in the Buenos Aires parade carried a huge coffin. But the funeral in the Argentine capital wasn’t honoring a single person.
Instead, it mourns the wage “death” of Argentine workers in a country where inflation is expected to take a hit 90% By the end of the year, it will eat into workers’ purchasing power despite years of attempts by the government to curb rising prices.
“Workers are devastating. We don’t have more salaries until mid-month, and it’s not enough,” said Melissa Gaga, a representative of the Front for Organizing (FOL) protest organizer Melisa Gargarello told Reuters.
A protester carries a “clinical history” of wages in Argentina, a graph showing how inflation eats away at the value of wages.
While much of the world has been battling high single-digit inflation this year, Argentina’s woes are in a different category.
“The paycheck is dead” banners read during the symbolic procession that paraded the main streets of the Argentine capital and ended in front of the presidential palace. The wreaths worn by women read “RIP Minimum Wage”.
The official monthly minimum wage in the country is 45, 136 Argentine Pesos ($ 136) And for a family of two adults and two children, the price of the basic food basket is , 298 pesos ($817), according to the National Bureau of Statistics INDEC.
Years of political efforts to curb inflation have done little to reduce price increases, with inflation in the country reaching in July) the highest level in years.
Recent efforts include the appointment of a new economy minister, Sergio Massa, who has been given expanded powers to try to control inflation. Argentines called him “super minister”.
“Today we have a symbolic funeral for wages and have to say that expresses the situation of all workers. Argentina is going through it,” said Maximiliano Maita of FOL.
($1 = 136.1500 Argentine Peso)