Layoffs anger state employees in Argentina

Protesters rally in Buenos Aires as new government begins revising job contracts of what it calls "political activists".

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    Buenos Aires - Thousands of state employees are protesting in Argentina's capital, accusing the new government of not renewing their contracts.

    Monday's demonstration came after ministries, the senate and cultural centres started revising contracts of their staff, prompting many job losses.

    "The government is laying off state employees and they are accusing us of being activists, of getting paid and not coming to work," Mabel Mansilla, one of the protesters, said.

    "I have three children to support, and my contract has not been renewed."

    Mauricio Macri, Argentina's new president, came to power promising change after 12 years of the government led by Nestor and Cristina Kirchner, accusing the latter of leaving the country financially crippled.

    Macri's government says that for years the previous leadership handed over public jobs in exchange for political support or as a way of generating the jobs that the private sector did not.

    Andres Ibarra, Argentina's minister of modernisation, said: "We are reviewing all contracts because we found very strange things.

    "For example, in the last three years, we have seen an increase of 50 percent of state employees. If anyone is being paid and is not working, it is disrespectful to the workers. It is public money."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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