Argentina union ends 29-day strike, freeing up soy exports

Grain inspectors and tugboat pilots in Argentina have ended nearly month-long strikes that had blocked exports of soy, for which Argentina is one of the world’s major supplier.

Grain inspectors had been picketing at port entrances in a protest over pay, causing delays to shipments. Argentina is the world’s largest exporter of soy meal, which goes into livestock feed, and soy oil, which is used in cooking and biofuels.

The inspectors’ union, Urgara, has now agreed to retroactive wage increases for 2020, as well as another 13% rise for January to June 2021, plus and a bonus of nearly $2,000, which will be paid in instalments.

Tugboat operators have also agreed a deal that will entail substantial wage increases, which they said were needed to cope with Argentina’s high inflation levels, anticipated to reach 50% this year.

A three-week strike by soybean processors, also over pay, ended on December 29th.