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SOMU is calling for the signing of a collective labour agreement with fresh fish fleet representatives. (Photo: CEDEPESCA)

Union lifts port blockade

  (ARGENTINA, 2/18/2010)

Delegates of the United Maritime Workers Union (SOMU) are negotiating the signing of a collective labour agreement through 1 March with representatives of the fresh fish fleet that unloads in the port of Mar del Plata, in the province of Buenos Aires.

The Union had resolved for their affiliates not to offer container ships towing services, an essential service for this type of vessel to enter the local maritime station.

According to the Secretary General of the SOMU delegation of Mar del Plata, Nestor Maria, that measure was taken to demand the signing of a collective labour agreement.

“Although we signed an agreement with the freezer fleet, the same did not happen with the fresh fish vessels. That is what we are protesting,” explained Maria some days back.

The lifting of the strong-arm measures took effect after SOMU representatives met with the Argentine Fisheries and Aquaculture Subsecretary, Norberto Yauhar, and signed an act agreement.

It was reported that until the first day of March, workers representatives and the fresh fish fleet will continue negotiating an exit to the conflict facing them.

Those implicated in the conflict will work on rough drafts to later defer to the intervention of the Argentine Labour Ministry, which will take care of ratifying the agreement.

This digression in the dispute will allow the fishing sector to resume their exports of sea resources, considering that Easter is soon to arrive, Pescare reports.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Association of Coastal Fishing Vessels and Argentine Chamber of Rada and Ria Vessels, of the Argentine Chamber of Offshore Fishing Vessel Shipowners (CAABPA), the Fishing Industry Chamber (CAIPA) and of the Council of Argentine Fisheries Firms (CEPA) recognised the effort made by Yauhar.

However, they warned that “as a measure that generates the lifting of the boycott by a certain time while still being within the framework of joint negotiations cited by the Argentine Labour Ministry, the corresponding Crisis Procedures will continue to be presented and petitioned before the Argentine Labour Ministry.”

“This decision is taken based on the repeated opportunities in which the SOMU temporarily lifted similar actions and then without mediating any other cause that could have altered the correct labour relation we maintain with our personnel, returned to apply the boycott to the fish production of Mar del Plata,” detailed the chamber’s statement in 0223 Vespertine.

The blockade of the port of Mar del Plata took place at a time when the national maritime line Maruba could take over container transport in Mar del Plata, effectively replacing Maersk y Hamburg Sud, following the news that these lines are suspending operations in that Buenos Aires port, a route they deem unprofitable.

Related article:

- Local shipping firm picks up Mar del Plata route

By Analia Murias
[email protected]
www.fis.com

 

 


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