Yesterday, at the request of the CGT labor federation, Argentina’s National Labor Appeals Court issued an injunction suspending Chapter IV of the Urgency and Necessity Decree (DNU), which reforms and overturns longstanding labor laws and protections, in a first setback for President Javier Milei’s Libertarian plan to rule by decree. Then, today, the same court granted another injunction to the CTA trade union federation, also suspending the labor chapter of the DNU. The court’s action on behalf of labor has provoked hysteria in the Casa Rosada (presidential palace), and presidential spokesman Manuel Adorni announced that the rulings will be immediately appealed to the Supreme Court.
In yesterday’s decision, according to the daily El Destape, Judge Alejandro Sudera quoted from a 1999 Supreme Court ruling stating that “an interpretation of the National Constitution, in terms of its regulation of urgency and necessity decrees, must cohere with the principles of the constitutional state. It can by no means be argued that the Executive Branch can freely substitute Congressional activity or that it should not be subject to judicial control.” The judges argued that the Executive Branch didn’t provide sufficient evidence to prove the urgency of making structural changes in existing labor laws. In today’s ruling, Judge Andrea Garcia Vior argued that at issue in this case are fundamental rights that affect the freedom and dignity of workers, including certain principles of protection, equal treatment, and non-discrimination. That the DNU limits the right to strike requires urgent action, she said, as it represents a grave violation of fundamental human rights, the state news agency Telam reported her saying.