Striking port workers in Argentine grains hub halt shipping

Buenos Aires | Reuters — Port workers in part of the Argentine grain hub of Rosario went on strike on Thursday to demand a year-end bonus, paralyzing ship movements, said the head of the powerful CGT union’s local branch.

Wage increases are lagging behind Argentina’s soaring inflation rate, which some private economists estimate is around 40 per cent, far higher than official government estimates.

“We’ve started an indefinite strike,”said Edgardo Quiroga, secretary general of CGT’s San Lorenzo branch. “Dock workers are not tying up or releasing vessels. The ports of Timbues, San Martin and San Lorenzo are all at a standstill.”

The three ports lie on the northern limits of Rosario, a city in northeastern Argentina.

Argentina is a leading global exporter of soybeans and corn. Prolonged strikes in the grain sector can have global market implications and hurt public finances, which are bolstered by export taxes on soy and related products.

Reporting for Reuters by Maximilian Heath in Buenos Aires.

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