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Argentina orders port workers to end strike and enter talks

The Argentine government on Tuesday ordered striking workers who have halted exports from the shipping hub of Rosario for nearly a week to suspend their stoppage for 15 days and return to the negotiating table.

However, a union spokesman said Tuesday evening that workers had not received any official notification and for now the strike would continue.

The Argentine Work Ministry ordered the two sides to negotiate, a process known as obligatory conciliation.

“With the aim of preventing more harm … it is necessary to restart dialogue that will seek solutions,” it said in a document.

The strike has prevented the loading of boats that transport grains and oil. Companies such as Bunge and Cargill have crushing plants and terminals in the region.

Union leader Edgardo Quiroga told Reuters the unions had not been notified of the government order and would need to decide in an assembly on their next course of action.

“I think for now we’re going to continue (the protest),” he said.

Argentina is the world’s biggest exporter of soy flour and oil and among the top producers of oilseed, maize and wheat. Some 80 percent of Argentine grains output is shipped through the Rosario port system.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nicolas Misculin, Writing by Rosalba O’Brien; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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