Argentina oilseed union strikes to protest Milei labor reforms

By Thomson Reuters Apr 29, 2024 | 12:48 PM

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s SOEA oilseed workers’ union kicked off a strike on Monday to protest a labor reform bill backed by President Javier Milei, which hit the lower house floor for debate shortly before.

Argentina is one of the world’s main exporters of soybean meal and oil.

The union operates in the Rosario area, a major agroindustrial belt where the majority of the country’s soybean processing plants and agricultural ports are located.

The strike kicked off just after lawmakers in Argentina’s chamber of deputies began debate on two sweeping economic reform bills proposed by President Javier Milei, which include taxes on high salaries and a labor reform.

“The (strike) is active while the session (in Congress) lasts. Afterward we will see; we will evaluate,” said Daniel Succi, the union’s secretary general.

Milei took power in December pledging to eliminate high inflation and adjust public spending, but his reform efforts have faced resistance from the center-left opposition and unions.

The agro-export sector is Argentina’s largest supplier of foreign currency, which the country needs to stabilize its economy.

The lower house session is expected to be drawn out and could last until Tuesday.

(Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Editing by Brendan O’Boyle)