Culture

Argentina's main soy export hub braces for 24-hour oilseed workers' strike

Credit: REUTERS/AGUSTIN MARCARIAN

Argentina's oilseed workers union will hold a 24-hour strike to start late Monday afternoon, affecting the country's main export hub of Rosario, to press for higher wages after several days of what the labor group called fruitless contract talks.

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Argentina's oilseed workers union will hold a 24-hour strike to start late Monday afternoon, affecting the country's main export hub of Rosario, to press for higher wages after several days of what the labor group called fruitless contract talks.

The oilseed workers walked off the job over what they called low wages earlier this month before being ordered back by the Labor Ministry. But subsequent contract talks between the workers and export companies have not yielded a deal.

"The companies continue with unacceptable proposals," the union, known by its Spanish acronym SOEA, said in a statement.

The strike is to last from sundown on Monday to sundown on Tuesday.

The walk-off by itself is not expected to impact Argentine exports, but a longer standoff could slow shipments from the world's top exporter of soymeal livestock feed used to fatten cattle, hogs and poultry from Europe to Southeast Asia.

"The industry cannot accept this strike, particularly while we are still at the negotiating table with SOEA and suffering the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and high costs associated with lower than normal water levels on the Parana River," said Gustavo Idigoras, head of Argentina's CIARA-CEC soy crushing and export companies chamber.

Work stoppages are common in Argentina, where employers are hard pressed to negotiate wages in line with the country's high inflation rate.

(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

((hugh.bronstein@thomsonreuters.com; 5411 4318 0655; Reuters Messaging: hugh.bronstein.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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