Argentina's government has ordered unions to suspend a week-old strike at leading grains ports for a 15-day period to hold talks with company bosses, a Labour Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.
The order for both sides to take part in compulsory conciliation will take effect from midday local time (1500 GMT) on Wednesday. The decision was taken following a formal request from the government of Santa Fe province, Argentina’s grain and vegetable oil hub.
Earlier in the day Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had warned of the consequences of protracted labour conflicts. While attending the official inauguration of a highway uniting the cities of Santa Fe and Paraná, President Cristina Kirchner addressed the controversy over the methodology of the protests staged by various unions and warned them that “if the effectiveness of the Kirchnerite model is hindered, you will be the first to be affected.”
“We always tell workers and their leaders that they must always defend the Kirchnerite model, because they are the first to see its benefits. If things take a turn for the worst, they will be the first to be affected,” she said.
She continued to say that “whenever they push the limits with their methodologies, it hurts me that many fellows don’t realize they are being functional to neo-liberal ideology. Remember that those who privatized the country responded to an ideology that was no good.”
“I ask union leaders to keep fighting for the rights of their members. But please remember this is a government that has made our minimum salary the highest in Latin America,” she said.
Meantime in Chicago corn and soybean futures advanced to 30-month highs, as vessels carrying both crops from Argentina are blocked because of a strike by port workers at the nation’s main terminals, disrupting global trade. Rice and wheat gained.
March-delivery corn gained as much as 0.5 percent to $6.69 a bushel, the highest price for the most-active contract in Chicago since July 17, 2008. Soybeans for March delivery climbed as much as 0.5 percent to $14.4475 per bushel, the highest price since July 21, 2008. Rough rice futures in Chicago traded above $16 for the first time since December 2009, as global demand was forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to outstrip output this year for the first time in four years.