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Argentina’s agriculture export industry workers go on strike

Two major unions representing Argentina’s agro-export industry have launched an indefinite strike, escalating a stand-off that has been simmering for months.

1 December 2020, at 9:07am

Reuters reports that oilseed workers and grains inspectors are demanding a wage increase amid high inflation that has roiled Argentina for years. Argentina is the main global exporter of soybean oil and meal, which is the country's top cash crop. Soy is a key component in livestock feed.

"In the absence of a proposal from the employers' chambers ... This Tuesday, December 1 at 6 AM (0900 GMT) we will begin a national strike," the FTCIODyARA oilseed workers union and the URGARA grains inspectors said in a joint statement.

"At no time have the employers' chambers had the will to negotiate and, on the contrary, they have sought to push all the union organisations of the sector into conflict."

The wage strikes have intensified in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic complicated talks between the two sides.

The CIARA-CEC chamber of agro-export companies said in a statement that the talks had stalled because of "excessive demands" for an "outlandish" payment, which were impossible to meet. It said the strike action was having widespread impact.

Both unions involved had taken strike measures previously in September, when government intermediation failed to defuse the conflict. The oilseed federation involved in the strike does not include key plants in the grains hub to the north of Rosario.

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