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Argentina: Apples and pears can't be exported due to conflict with employees

After a very difficult year due to the increasingly low international prices and the continuing increase in costs, Rio Negro and Neuquen's fruit production is facing a new problem.
The Argentina Chamber of Integrated Fruit Producers (CAFI) denounced that "these provinces' Trade Union of Fruit Employees are preventing the departure of products from the Customs Centres from Villa Regina, Centenario and Neuquén, which has resulted in the inability to export more than $36 million, affecting small, medium and large producers, who haven't been able to move more than 100 trucks and containers."

According to CAFI, losses will increase if the measure isn't stopped immediately: the fruit that wasn't shipped one week won't be shipped the next week and the containers that aren't loaded on schedule require new logistics so costs will increase dramatically, not to mention what violating international commitments can entail. 

"The negotiations for the revision of the workers salaries enrolled in the SOEFRNYN union started in early July this year, as were expectations. These negotiations must define the wage adjustment for the second half of the year," stated CAFI. 

According to the Chamber, "the union requested a 40% increase for the second half of the year. It is a number that is clearly beyond logic, under any parameter, and beyond the reality of the fruit business; especially when the wage agreements nationwide range between 28% and 31% for all of the year."

"The Chamber has shown its willingness to reach a reasonable agreement that is more in sync with reality throughout many meetings but this has not been possible. Thus, CAFI reassures it continues to be willing to negotiate, but without the pressure and injury of a crackdown of this nature," they added. 

"We urge the union to stop the strike and the damage it is causing on the main economic activity of the province of Rio Negro and one of the most important activities in Neuquén. We also urge authorities to take appropriate measures in this regard," concluded the Chamber via a statement. 

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