Argentine Farmers to Strike, Urgara Work Stoppage Continues

Posted on Wed, 01/06/2021 - 11:41

Argentine farmers will hold a 72-hour strike from Jan. 11-13, protesting a government decision to suspend corn exports until March 1, three of the country’s main rural associations announced yesterday. The associations said the export suspension damaged both their interests and those of Argentina and they are demanding President Alberto Fernandez to immediately review the decision. Critics of the restrictions say the uncertainty the move creates discourages investment in the sector and makes Argentina a less reliable trade partner.

Meanwhile, wage negotiations between the Argentine grain inspector’s union Urgara and agro-export companies continue. The strike has been underway for four full weeks. That work stoppage is having limited impact on the country’s main Rosario port, however, as it tends to hire grain receivers who aren’t associated with Urgara.

A strike among the country’s oilseed workers that also kicked off Dec. 9 was called off last week after union officials and employers reached an agreement on salary increases and bonus payments. More talks are scheduled for this afternoon. 

Strikes are fairly common in Argentina and typically they are short-lived and have limited impact. But soaring inflation and a global pandemic has made contract negotiations particularly contentious.