Staff at fixed line telcos Telecom Argentina and Telefónica de Argentina are planning strike action this week to demand a shorter working day and higher salaries, renewing a labour dispute that had been dormant for a year. A spokesperson for local telephone union Foetra said 15,000 employees in five provinces will take part in the strike on Wednesday and Thursday, which is likely to cause all non-automated regional services to be shut down. This includes directory information, international calls, some national long-distance calls, customer services and network repairs. A year ago, Foetra workers in Buenos Aires and its surrounds went on strike for a week over a salary dispute, occupying the two telcos’ key operational centres and threatening to paralyse nationwide and international telephone services. The union asked for a 25% salary rise and was granted an average 20% hike. The agreement ran for one year, meaning the two sides are now locked in a new round of talks. During the year, workers have formed a new federation called FATEL, which includes Foetra and two other groups. The unions are asking for a 40% pay increase and a reduction in their hours, but both companies’ management boards are reported to have offered less than 20%.