Argentina's grain inspectors' union, Urgara, said on the last day of 2020 that its members will continue to strike over the weekend after failing to strike a wage deal despite two meetings with the Chamber of Private and Commercial Ports (CPPC).
The strike comes after Argentina's soy crushing companies signed a contract with oilseed workers' unions on Tuesday night, ending a stoppage that delayed the loading of ships and stalled soy crushing since workers walked off the job on Dec. 9.
Next Monday we will have a fresh meeting with the CPPC and we hope to be able to reach an agreement that meets the needs of the workers who stood by throughout the pandemic to safeguard foreign exchange income and the country's economic growth, said Urgara in a statement.
The union wants salary increases and an extraordinary bonus for its members having worked during the COVID-19 crisis. Argentina's economy has suffered very high inflation over successive years, with the pandemic exacerbating the crisis.
The companies that make up the CPPC are the same international agro-export companies that reached the agreement on Tuesday with the oilseed workers' unions.
Urgara's strike has the most significant impact on Argentina's southern ports, Bahía Blanca and Necochea, since companies operating out of the northern agro-port hub of Rosario - which handles 80% of Argentina's agricultural products - tend to hire grain receivers who are not associated with Urgara.
Argentina is the world’s top exporter of soy meal and a major international soybean, wheat and corn suppliers.