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Uruguay: Strike caused a loss of 40,000 kilos of blueberries

Workers from the the Rural Workers Trade Union Organization (Osdor) have not yet complied with the court's ruling to dissolve the strike in a blueberry plantation from Costa de Oro SA, located in the town of Quebracho, 60 kilometers from the city of Paysandu.

The action taken by the workers has left more than 200 people without a job in the area and caused the loss of 40,000 kilos of fruit, that was destined for foreign markets.

The court ruled on Wednesday November 23rd for the strike to be dissolved
within 24 hours, but so far, workers continue to be there preventing the company from working on the harvest.

The conflict began in the middle of harvest, on November 8th, when workers raised the need to modify the wages paid by the company and negotiate new incentives. That day, the Osdor set a deadline of 48 hours to sign a new agreement. After rejecting the company's proposal, the union went to the local office of the Ministry of Labour and requested an audience to negotiate the agreement. But before making this took place there was a strike by workers at the door of the establishment that prevented a load of fruit leaving.

Since then, the blueberry harvest has been shut down.

The strike was carried out by a group no bigger than 20 workers.

In this situation, the company filed a writ of protection before the Court to
break the picket line.

However, workers continue to block the entrance of the farm.

According to company sources, it is estimated that there has been a loss of 40,000 kilos of blueberries for export, representing an economic loss of over U.S.D $ 50,000.

"It's a huge blow for the company with the losses that we are taking we do not
know if we can continue with the blueberry cultivation next year," said one of the company's source.

"We want to let everyone know that after many efforts, both from the country and exporting companies, made with respect to a new crop such as blueberry, opening markets like the U.S. and Europe with high quality standards, and providing sources of employment for a number of people inside the country, this excessive action of a union has ruined this harvest. Also, we still can not resume normal activities," said a company source.


Publication date: 11/28/2011


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