Argentine crush workers launch strike action over wage demands

Argentina’s crushers’ union federation FTCIOD has launched an indefinite nationwide strike to demand...

Argentina’s crushers’ union federation FTCIOD has launched an indefinite nationwide strike to demand the re-opening of salary negotiations, Daniel Yofra, the federation’s secretary-general has told Agricensus.

The strike action started on October 13 at 2pm local time and is currently affecting crushing activities at a national level with the exception of crushing plants and grain ports located in the San Lorenzo area, in Santa Fe province, which belong to a separate union.

Yofra said that the companies being impacted by the action are Cargill, Louis Dreyfus, Molinos Rio de La Plata, Vicentin, Aceitera General Deheza (AGD), Bunge and Glencore.

“The strike action is indefinitely and the level of adhesion is almost 100%. We decided to launch this measure due to the lack of increases in salaries. We had previously agreed with the companies that we should have a salary revision in August but the companies told us that they will not to pay any salary increase now,” he said.

Yofra also said that the union does not know if the sector’s chambers are in talks with the national government to seek a mandatory conciliation to temporary lift the strike action.

“There are no ongoing salary talks with the workers union as they decided to leave the negotiation table,” an industry source told Agricensus.

Oilseed crushing plants had been lately affected by low margins and according to the local oilseed crushing and exporters chamber Ciara-CEC, the idle capacity in the country’s crushing sector at the end of August stood at approximately 50%

Last week, the government introduced changes in the export duty scheme for the soybean complex, which would reinstate a differential export duty for soybean derivatives.

In January 2021, the differential export duty between soybean and soybean derivative exports will be 2 percentage points.

Argentina is expected to crush approximately 38 million mt of soybeans this year, down 9.5% from the 42 million mt crushed in 2019, Gustavo Idigoras, head of Ciara-CEC previously told Agricensus.

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