BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s Modernization Minister Andres Ibarra announced on Tuesday that his office is studying the possibility of canceling the contracts of between 24,000 and 25,000 employees across all areas of government, following the 6,200 already eliminated early this February.
Ibarra broke the news during an interview on local radio station La Red, when he suggested that more employees could be laid off before the end of this month if further irregularities are discovered in the way they were hired, though he avoided giving a specific number of the contracts that might not be renewed.
“More could be terminated if their contracts were are not aimed at fulfilling specific functions or were based on political party militancy financed by public funds,” the modernization minister said, adding that Mauricio Macri’s administration has set a time limit of three months to analyze the contracts in every area of government.
The laying off of civil servants in Argentina did in fact begin soon after Macri took office in early January, when he decreed a review of the irregularities in state contracts signed over the past three years.
The cutting down of government staff comes after the decision in January not to renew the contracts of 80 percent of personnel at the Kirchner Cultural Center in the Argentine capital, and to cancel more than 500 Justice Ministry contracts.
Civil servants have become so indignant about the wave of dismissals that one of the largest labor unions in the sector, the State Workers Association, or ATE, has called a strike and a demonstration this Wednesday to protest the government’s decision to carry out these massive layoffs.