Market News & Headlines >> Argentine Port Workers Threaten Indefinite Strike

Workers at the Rosario port complex, Argentina's main grain export hub on Monday threatened to go on strike indefinitely, spurring concerns about the availability of Argentine corn and soybean production for foreign buyers.

The CGT (General Confederation of Labor) a powerful confederation of trade unions, will decide late Monday whether to follow recent flash work stoppages with a strike that would continue until a pay contract is signed with CIARA-CEC, Argentina's chamber of grains exporting and soy crushing companies. Unions representing stevedores and other workers necessary for the loading of export cargos fall under the umbrella of the CGT.

The Rosario work stoppage would start at midnight and would come with roughly two-thirds of Argentina’s expected record large soybean crop and one-third of its corn crop harvested. Argentina’s agriculture ministry pegged soybean harvest progress at 60% as of April 30, with corn harvest progress at 32%.

"If this strike happens, it will affect loading operations at all terminals," Guillermo Wade, head of Argentina's Port and Maritime Activities Chamber told Reuters News Service, referring to the 22 Parana River port terminals around the towns of San Lorenzo, San Martin and Timbues.

Port strikes at harvest season have become a regular occurrence in Argentina with high inflation spurring worker demands for large wage increases.