Peruvian labor law proposals could put seasonal fruit exports at risk

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Peruvian labor law proposals could put seasonal fruit exports at risk

A Peruvian consultant says the country's proposed labor law changes could destabilize its avocado, grape and mango export industries, website reported.

Fernando Cillóniz

Inform@cción president Fernando Cillóniz said the labor law changes were all right for goods that were produced daily and year round such as organic bananas and milk, but more complicated for seasonal fruits.

Cillóniz said there were other methods of giving season fruit pickers benefits such as bonuses for good work and health insurance.

"Many assert that the object of the proposals is to impose rigid labor laws that will permanently make production costs unsustainable paralyzing agricultural exports," he was quoted as saying.

He called on Congress' Agricultural Commission to put all their cards on the table with regards to proposed limits on land tenure.

"We can't play with the development of the country. Some say 10 million hectares for a company, others 15 million and there are others that support 25 million, whatever people say, agricultural companies have to execute their plans in the long-term," he said.

Agriculture Commission president José León Rivera, said there proposals were aimed at standardizing the agriculture labor regime and solely applying remunerative changes.

"These reforms do not pose a risk for exporters, in as much as they don't change the essential regime. With regards to seasonality, we are simply looking for the farm worker to earn the same as any other Peruvian. That is a minimum wage and 30 days holiday."

The Constitutional Tribunal said that following the agricultural promotion law which was in place for more than 10 years, it was time the state restored rural people's labor rights.

It said the legislation had achieved its goal because agricultural exports continued to reach record levels with an increase of more than 400% since its introduction.

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