Thursday, May 17, 2007

Strike Four--We're out!

Helen and I had an appointment in Belgrano this afternoon. We decided to take the subway—our new mode of transportation. In the past, we have used the busses because we are not that close to a subway station and there are any busses a block from our apartment. But, lately, we have been making increased use of the subte.

We allotted ourselves 45 minutes: the 15-minute walk to the subway station at Avenida Santa Fe y Puerryedon, 15 minutes for the ride to Juramento station, and another 15 minutes for the walk to our destination.

The first part went fine until we arrived at the subway access to find it gated and locked. The subway workers are on strike. The sign said:

“Interrupción total: Medidas de fuerza gremio”

In other words: the subway is shut down because of a union work stoppage—a strike.

(This is twice now. First I write about crime and then I am a crime victim. Then I write about strikes and a strike affects my life. OK—I can be bought. What do you want me to write about next? Whatever it is, it is sure to be in the news the next day.)

Resourceful expats that we are, we quickly spotted a #118 collectivo headed the right way and took it as close as it could get us. We then walked the 8 blocks to where we needed to be and got there only 20 minutes late—on time, actually, by some standards.

I have noticed that workers in these essential service industries usually announce their strikes well in advance and usually for non-peak ours. Last week the colectivo (bus) drivers threatened a work stoppage between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. but called it off at the last minute.

It is rare, in my limited experience, to encounter such a high-profile strike that was unannounced--especially on the heels of the riot yesterday because a train broke down and interrupted commuter rail service at a critical part of the day.

I can’t wait to see what the TV and newspapers have to say about it in the morning.

1 comment:

miss tango in her eyes said...

Only 20 minutes late! Lucky you! Try two hours late for work...un beso miss t