Argentina maritime unions to halt port activities for 48 hours

By Thomson Reuters Jun 6, 2024 | 9:56 AM

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) -Maritime labour unions in Argentina announced on Thursday they would cease all activities in ports for 48 hours, but no immediate impacts were seen in the key grain-exporting region of Rosario.

The United Maritime Workers Union said in a post on Facebook that the Tugboat Owners Chamber (C.A.R.) has refused to negotiate an expired bargaining agreement, prompting the union to halt work.

The strike comes at a time of increased activity in Argentine ports, in the midst of corn and soybean harvests – the country’s two main agricultural products.

Despite the move, Argentina’s main grains ports around the city of Rosario are still operating normally, the head of the CAPYM port chamber, Guillermo Wade, told Reuters.

“For now nothing is affected, (it’s) all quiet,” said Wade.

In light of concerns over potential energy supply shortages, the union had confirmed earlier in the day that tugboats, which guide vessels supplying thermoelectric power plants and liquefied natural gas (LNG) gas tankers, would continue operations.

The exception was made to prevent additional pressure on the energy sector.

Argentina is a key global food exporter and more than 80% of food shipments leave from ports located north of Rosario.

(Reporting by Natalia Siniawski, Maximilian Heath and Stéphanie Hamel; editing by Jason Neely and Marguerita Choy)