A general strike by opposition labor unions shut down heavy industry and much of urban transport here today but won only partial overall support in a protest against President Raul Alfonsin's economic policies.
The 24-hour stoppage, the first called by Argentina's powerful unions in the nine months of Alfonsin's government, appeared to divide much of the country along political, class and regional lines. Most large factories around Buenos Aires and other large cities were closed down and train, mail and port service halted.
Banks, schools, shops and air service operated normally or with only partial disruptions, however, and officials here said some predominantly rural interior provinces virtually ignored the strike call.
Scattered minor incidents of violence were reported in the province of Buenos Aires and in the northwestern city of Tucuman, where unidentified groups stoned and fired shots at several buses. One person was reported injured in Tucuman.
Leaders of the Peronist General Confederation of Labor, which called the strike last week, pronounced it a success.
Government officials, who charged that the strike was an "aggression" motivated by partisan politics rather than real economic conditions, said it had produced few results. German Lopez, the general secretary of the presidency, said the government would respond with a tougher approach to the unions and their political leadership.
Alfonsin, who for the last several months has attempted to negotiate union, business and political party support for consensus economic policies, made no public comment on the strike. Instead, he allowed the sharp attacks on the unions by Lopez and other officials to be moderated by other ministers, who suggested that conciliation with labor would still be possible in the coming weeks.