Argentine dockworkers strike in support of Paraguay colleagues

December 07
Buenos Aires –  A strike by Argentine dockworkers is paralyzing river-bound shipments to and from neighboring landlocked Paraguay in support of their Paraguayan colleagues’ demand for a collective-bargaining agreement, union members told Efe on Tuesday.

About 7,000 containers have remained in Argentine ports for the past several days, spokespeople with the SOMU union said.

Industry sources cited by the press said the protest is affecting 38 Paraguayan-flagged shipping companies and about 3,000 workers in the port of Buenos Aires and port terminals on the Parana River.

Argentine dockworkers decided to paralyze shipments to and from Paraguay “in solidarity” with Paraguayan workers “who are demanding … a collective work agreement, as exists in Argentina,” SOMU said.

SOMU transmitted the demand to the International Transport Workers’ Federation in support of Paraguay’s SOMUPA union, established by SOMU chief Omar Suarez, according to union officials cited by the capital daily Clarin.

But a group representing Paraguayan shippers claimed the real aim of the Argentine dockworkers is to impose Argentina’s legal and labor regulations on Paraguay’s shipping industry.

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