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Montevideo, June 3rd 2023 - 03:42 UTC



Uruguayan fish processing plants blame unions for the dismantling the industry

Friday, February 25th 2022 - 10:08 UTC
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The Uruguayan Fishing Industry Chamber, CIPU announced one of its associates had been forced to send 80 workers to unemployment insurance because it run out of fish to process, as a result of the conflict in fishing vessels. The Chamber claimed that in a decade the fishing industry has been cut to half because of the ongoing labor conflicts.

“On February 21, Novabarca SA finished processing all the fish it had in cold storage, and was thus forced to cease activities and send 80 workers to the unemployment insurance office”, pointed out the CIPU release.

This is the result of a prolonged conflict, “as irrational and as usual” which meant the company ceased to receive raw material since 13 January. On that day the Union of Sea Workers initiated industrial action against a fishing company, Tolimar, with effect on the whole Uruguayan fishing fleet. The six operating vessels of the company were forced to remain in harbor impeded from going out to sea to supply catches for Novabarca. The processing plant normally has a workforce of 200 but since the start of the conflict was down to 80.

As to Tolimar apparently it had two companies contracted for its operations in the port and decided to keep only one.

Following an incident in the port of Montevideo, with threats against workers of the remaining company, the Union of Sea Workers decided to go on strike in support of the redundant and did not fish. On 8 February the strike was lifted, but on that same day the fishing captains union, SUDEPPU, started its own industrial action demanding payment or unemployment insurance for the days with no income because of the other union's strike. Finally the unions involved decided to join strike positions.

CIPU adds that contrary to Chile and Argentina where the fishing industry has modernized and expanded, from 2006 to 2019, in Uruguay it has experienced a collapse of 80% in GDP terms.

“Extreme labor conflicts is one of the main causes for the diminished activity of the industry, if not the main. The reduced Uruguayan fishing fleet has lost 50% of its capacity and only operates on average 180 days annually. The recurrent and prolonged conflicts with the crews has an immediate impact on the processing plants work, mostly women. They are the silent victims of the indolent unions which in a decade have caused the dismantling of a whole sector and the loss of thousands of jobs” concludes the CIPU release.

Categories: Fisheries, Politics, Uruguay.

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  • imoyaro

    Can't operate without resorting to slave labor?

    Feb 28th, 2022 - 08:44 am 0
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