Buenos Aires residents faced travel chaos Tuesday as transport unions launched a 24-hour strike that brought the Argentine capital to a halt, seven months before presidential elections.
Workers, who are striking over a tax regime they say hurts the lowest earners, erected road blocks at the city's principal access points and stopped all trains and buses.
It is the fourth major stoppage against President Cristina Kirchner, who took power in 2007 and completes her second term at the end of this year. Elections will take place October 25.
The Constitucion railway station, where hundreds of thousands of commuters arrive daily, was completely closed Tuesday morning with no sign of activity.
Workers in the medical, banking and food sectors also joined the strike. A trail of garbage was starting to pile up in the city of three million as truckers stopped working.
A few taxis and private cars were on the roads but many employees had little choice but to walk or ride bicycles to work.
Because of the strike, the airlines LAN of Chile and TAM in Brazil cancelled flights to and from Argentina.
The government has warned that unions had to provide agreed minimum services under collective bargaining agreements or would face punitive consequences.
Unions are angry about a tax system that is progressive -- the more you earn, the higher the tax rate you pay -- but which is constant at low-level incomes.
Late last year the government averted a similar strike by announcing that a Christmas bonus paid to workers would be exempt from income tax.