Argentina's biggest union calls for anti-government strike

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s biggest labor union on Tuesday called for a 24-hour national strike to protest the government’s austerity policies, heaping pressure on President Mauricio Macri as he battles against a biting recession and jittery markets.

The General Confederation of Labor (CGT), a huge umbrella group which held off joining industrial action by other unions in April, said they supported a strike on May 29, union leaders Héctor Daer and Carlos Acuña told reporters.

Argentina is grappling with recession, stubbornly high inflation and a volatile peso currency, which has hit the jobs market and sapped salaries and spending power. Poverty levels have also risen sharply.

“With this on the horizon, we will have more unemployed colleagues and more colleagues outside productive activity,” Daer said at a news conference.

Argentina’s industrial output has dropped for 11th straight months, since mid-2018 when South America’s No. 2 economy was hit by a debt crisis, steep inflation and a tumbling peso currency.

“At this moment there is no sector that is saved from having problems,” union leader Acuña added.

Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Richard Chang