In an interview with “Estación Sur”, a radio station in Catamarca, Argentina, Gabriel Martínez, Secretary of Organization of the Federation of Energy Workers of the Argentine Republic (FeTERA) analized the protests against the rate hikes that took place throughout the country in the past weeks and said that “it is necessary to think about why the people cannot manage its public services, but private enterprises can, when in fact these private companies do not invest to improve the services, and at the same time, raise the tariffs, turning it into an unfair situation, because at higher prices not everyone can enjoy public utilities.”
“Private companies take all the money coming from the profit they make here out of the country, and that money is necessary for the development of our country,” added Martínez.
He also explained that “before the 1990s, the electricity industry, which was composed of power stations, transport or high-power lines and distribution, was part of the same cost structure. This is why electricity during the 60s, 70s, 80s and the beginning of the 90s, despite its technical flaws, reached the most desolate places of the country.”
Martínez pointed out that “enterprises like SEGBA, Hidronor or Agua y Energía, among others, did all they could so everybody could have access to energy.”
“With privatization, each circuit was broke into pieces. Each company has its own profit logic and their interests depend on the logic of their shareholders’ interests,” Martínez emphasized.
FeTERA’s Secretary of Organization also said: “we as workers, defend energy as a social good, a human right, and we defend energy as a problem of the people in general, not only of technicians, economists or politicians. This is why we are trying to have a public debate on utility services, the tariffs and the property of these utility services.”
Listen to the full interview in Spanish below: