Argentine oilseed workers threaten new strike actions over Buyatti

30 Mar 2021 | Juan Pedro Tomas

Argentina’s oilseed workers union SOEA has threatened to mount new protest actions at key Rosario crushing and export facilities if representatives of the company Buyatti fail to fulfill key demands made by a group of dismissed workers, local press has reported.

The step marks another potential deterioration in trade relations after local crusher and grain exporter Buyatti shut down operations at its crushing facilities in Puerto San Martin, dismissing 84 workers from the plant.

Earlier this month, SOEA carried out blockades at grain export facilities across the San Lorenzo hub, which were suspended after talks with the Argentine labour ministry got underway. 

At that time, the union had confirmed it would suspend protest actions in Argentina’s Rosario hub after it agreed to schedule talks for Monday, March 29.

However, in that meeting SOEA representatives and government officials agreed to continue additional talks in the week ahead, bolstered by a ruling from the national labor ministry that confirmed the crusher was expected to pay full compensation to dismissed workers.

On top of that request, dismissed workers have pushed Buyatti to maintain health insurance plans for its former workers and said they will launch new protest if this request was not met.

Until recently, the Buyatti plant had been operating at 60% capacity but was forced to close after a toll agreement to crush at Vicentin’s plants expired in November 2020 and was not renewed.

Initially, Buyatti sought to reduce personnel and mothball the plant, but the firm ultimately decided to close it in order to focus on its north Argentinian production, according to reports.