Argentine agricultural port workers will strike on Monday after failed negotiations

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Argentine agricultural port workers will strike on Monday after failed negotiations




They load grain onto ships in a port on the Paraná River, near Rosario


© Reuters / AGUSTIN MARCARIAN
They load grain onto ships in a port on the Paraná River, near Rosario


BUENOS AIRES, Sept 27 (Reuters) – The port technical workers union Urgara said on Sunday that it will hold a 24-hour strike starting at midnight demanding wage increases, which could affect exports from an agricultural powerhouse like Argentina.

The union reported in a statement that the strike will begin at 00:00 hours on Monday (0300 GMT), after expiring a conciliation issued by the government on August 27, but clarified that on Tuesday it will attend a meeting at the Ministry of Work to try to reach an agreement.

Urgara will carry out a “plan of progressive fight and cessation of granary activity in ports throughout the country, given the failure of the negotiation with the Chamber of Private Ports by joint and modifications in the Collective Labor Agreement,” the statement said.

Members of the Union of Grain Receivers of Argentina (Urgara) are key workers who analyze the holds of ships and the grains that are shipped, so their strikes often hit exports hard.

Urgara had threatened to carry out a 36-hour strike on August 26, but suspended the measure after the government called the union and the companies to dialogue.

“After weeks of negotiations we are forced to resume the conflict with port businessmen who seek extraordinary profits and fill their pockets while our colleagues are putting their hearts to the pandemic in the ports,” said Pablo Palacio, Secretary General of Urgara.

Argentina is the world’s leading exporter of soybean oil and flour, the third largest of corn, and a key global supplier of wheat.

(Report by Lucila Sigal)

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