Argentine opposition labor unions to hold 24-hour strike in April

BUENOS AIRES, March 26 Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:59pm EDT

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BUENOS AIRES, March 26 (Reuters) - Opposition labor unions said on Wednesday they will hold a 24-hour strike on April 10 to press for wage increases in line with Argentina's inflation rate, estimated by private economists at more than 30 percent per year.

The strike will include public transportation workers, government employees and truck drivers belonging to groups critical of the economic stewardship of Cristina Fernandez, who is set to end her second term as president late next year.

Any prolonged truckers' strike next month or in May could interfere with transportation of what is expected to be a record soy harvest of more than 54 million tonnes. Argentina is the world's No. 1 exporter of soyoil and soymeal, as well as its third biggest supplier of raw soybeans.

After a decade of strong economic growth, Argentine business confidence is being damaged by galloping consumer prices, plummeting central bank reserves and heavy-handed currency controls that have reduced access to U.S. dollars.

(Reporting by Alejandro Lifschitz; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Stephen Powell)

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