The Americas

Argentine lawmakers OK bill to stop layoffs; Macri to veto

FILE - In this April 7, 2016, file photo, President Mauricio Macri leaves after making a statement at the government house in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina’s House of Deputies has given final congressional approval on Thursday, May 19, to a bill that would ban layoffs in the public and private sectors. The president has said he will veto it because it might scare off badly needed investment. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

FILE - In this April 7, 2016, file photo, President Mauricio Macri leaves after making a statement at the government house in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina‚Äôs House of Deputies has given final congressional approval on Thursday, May 19, to a bill that would ban layoffs in the public and private sectors. The president has said he will veto it because it might scare off badly needed investment. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)  (The Associated Press)

Argentina's House of Deputies has given final congressional approval to a bill that would ban layoffs in the public and private sectors. The president has said he will veto it because it might scare off badly needed investment.

The opposition-controlled lower house approved the measure Thursday with 147 votes in favor, 3 against and 88 abstentions. The legislation would ban layoffs for 180 days and allow those who lose their jobs to get double compensation.

The measure already passed in the Senate.

It comes in defiance of President Mauricio Macri's attempt to cut bloated spending and jumpstart Argentina's economy through job cuts. He has fired thousands of workers since he came into office in December promising to curb a fiscal deficit.

Macri opposed the bill and promised to veto it.