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Argentine striking dock workers block two major grain export terminals

Friday, March 4th 2011 - 01:44 UTC
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The port of Rosario on the Parana has become one of the world’s soy bean hubs The port of Rosario on the Parana has become one of the world’s soy bean hubs

Argentine dock workers blocked two major grain export terminals for a second day on Thursday to press pay demands, but most soy-crushing plants and ports operated normally, the labour cooperative said.

About 16% of the country's soy-oil-processing capacity was affected by the protest at a terminal north of the city of Rosario shared by Bunge and Argentina's AGD, and at another nearby facility operated by Cargill.

“In the rest of the plants in the area, activity is normal. But, if we don't get a favourable response from the companies, we're ready to extend the strike to all the ports,” said Herme Juarez, head of the cooperative in Puerto General San Martin.

The blockade began on Wednesday evening after pay talks between exporters and the dock workers' cooperative ended without a deal, but no formal strike announcement was made.

Negotiations were not expected to resume on Thursday, but fresh talks aimed at averting a more widespread protest could take place on Friday instead, an industry source said on condition of anonymity.

Workers are demanding a 91% increase (from 33 to 63 cents) in the stevedore rate.

The dispute comes a month after a major conflict with dock and soy and grains processing plant organized labour which shut down exports for several days pushing international grains prices up.

Argentina is the world's top soy-oil and soy-meal supplier and the third-biggest exporter of uncrushed beans, meaning labor disruption in grains ports often drives global soy prices higher.

At the Chicago Board of Trade, U.S. soy futures closed up for a third straight session on Thursday, partly due to concerns over the dock workers' protest.

Categories: Economy, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • Y Draig Goch

    again??? i feel for the must be like ground hog day with all these strikes

    Mar 04th, 2011 - 02:11 am 0
  • I

    Who cares! exports drive national prices throught the roof, I don't see how Argentines could compete with anyother country who steals their raw material to employ themselves, I think Argentina should only ship out finished goods, and as for this strike keep up the good job piqueteros and long live democracy and civil disobedience.

    Mar 06th, 2011 - 03:34 pm 0
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