A strike to demand the re-opening of salary negotiations has been launched by Argentina’s crushers’ union federation FTCIOD, AgriCensus reported the organisation’s secretary general as saying on 14 October.

The indefinite strike action started on 13 October and was affecting crushing activities at a national level, excluding crushing plants and grain ports in the San Lorenzo area, in Santa Fe province, which belonged to a separate union.

FTCIOD secretary-general Daniel Yofra told AgriCensus the companies affected by the action were Aceitera General Deheza (AGD), Bunge, Cargill, Glencore, Louis Dreyfus, Molinos Rio de la Plata, and Vicentin.

“The strike action is indefinite and the level of adherence is almost 100%. We decided to launch this measure due to the lack of increases in salaries. We had previously agreed with the companies that we should have a salary revision in August but the companies told us that they will not pay any salary increase now,” he was quoted as saying.

The union did not know if the sector’s chambers were in talks with the national government to seek a mandatory conciliation to temporarily lift the strike action, Yofra added.

“There are no ongoing salary talks with the workers’ union as they decided to leave the negotiation table,” an industry source told AgriCensus.

Oilseed crushing plants had recently been affected by low margins and the idle capacity in the country’s crushing sector stood at approximately 50% at the end of August, according to the local oilseed crushing and exporters chamber Ciara-CEC.

The government had recently introduced changes in the export duty scheme for the soyabean complex, which would reinstate a differential export duty for soyabean derivatives.

In January 2021, the differential export duty between soyabean and soyabean derivative exports would be two percentage points.

Argentina was expected to crush approximately 38M tonnes of soyabeans this year, a 9.5% drop from the 42M tonnes crushed in 2019, Gustavo Idigoras, head of Ciara-CEC had previously told AgriCensus.