Argentine grains inspectors and oilseeds workers extended on Friday a wage strike as stalling contract negotiations threaten to interrupt exports from one of the world's main grain producers.
Argentina, a top global supplier of corn, soybeans and wheat, is suffering a spate of strikes in its agricultural sector as workers seek pandemic-linked bonuses and higher payouts to keep up with a high inflation rate.
The oilseeds workers' federation and the URGARA union, representing workers who inspect grains at port, started the 24-hour strike on Wednesday, when they had said it could be extended a day.
In the face of the total lack of response from the employers' chambers, we have decided to extend the national strike in the oilseeds and grain export sector, the unions said in a statement.
The CIARA-CEC export companies' chamber, which represents the crushing and export companies, contends that the unions are seeking excessive salary increases.
Corn and soy, the country's main cash crops, are currently being planted. With wheat harvesting having just begun, December is not peak export season. Amid a weakening peso, farmers also say they would rather hold onto their crops.
Argentina, just emerging from default after restructuring its foreign debts, needs export dollars to build up its depleted reserves of foreign currency. Grains, especially processed soy, are the country's main driver of exports.