Rural workers lift roadblocks in southern Argentina

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Rural workers lift roadblocks in southern Argentina

Rural Argentine workers have agreed to lift a roadblock that cut route 22 in a key pome fruit-growing region, following an agreement that will give a 24% wage rise for the sector. peras-rojas_51031324 small

While the figure may seem high, it is actually lower than Argentina's inflation rate by one percentage point.

Newspaper La Mañana Neuquen reported the deal was signed by the Ministry of Work and the Argentine Chamber of Integrated Fruit Growers (CAFI) at 9pm on Monday, Jan. 14.

Early in the morning on Monday, workers blocked several roadways that link the provinces of Neuquén and Río Negro in a bid to push negotiations forward, extending to various parts of the region by the afternoon.

Argentine Union of Rural Workers and Stevedores (UATRA) sub-delegate Omar Figueroa told the newspaper his sector would conform to the agreed percentage, because it "kept the distance between the harvester and the Statute of Peon", among other reasons.

Figueroa highlighted that the pear harvest had begun in the region, saying he was confident growers would "respect the agreed percentage increase because they have to comply with workers and lift the harvest".

UATRE was previously pushing for a 35% rise.

Argentina is the Southern Hemisphere's largest pear exporter, with harvests of the William’s, Red Bartlett, Red D'Anjou and Abate Fetel underway this month.

Related story: Argentina: Patagonian pome fruit harvest kicks off

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