Chilean port strikes put millions of fruit boxes at risk - FreshFruitPortal.com

Chilean port strikes put millions of fruit boxes at risk

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Chilean port strikes put millions of fruit boxes at risk

The Chilean fruit industry risks losing US$50 million in lost orders if port strikes across the country are not resolved today, according to the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX). San_Antonio_Port_(Chile) _ wikimedia commons

In a statement, ASOEX president Ronald Bown Fernández said the key port of San Antonio and others had been affected by a solidarity strike over the situation in the northern port of Mejillones, where owners had not reached an agreement with stevedores over the continuity of working hours.

"Around 2.3 million boxes destined for ports in the United States and Korea are being affected, that have to reach their destination before the date of the start of the "Marketing Order" systems in force in those countries," he said.

"If not solved today, there will be negative effects that could reach US$50 million."

"This means effects for a significant number of small and medium producers who hope to sell their fruit in a normal way. This negative fact would add to various other inconveniences of a climatic nature that Chilean fruit has had to bear this season."

Bown urged the relevant authorities and stakeholders to assume responsibility and find a solution as soon as possible.

"We deeply regret that there is no adequate anticipation for resolution of conflicts that could cause effects for non-involved third parties, both on the part of employers and employees, as well as with respect to appropriate legislation that enables the protection of perishable products."

As background information, a source close to www.freshfruitportal.com said the Port Angamos syndicate number 2 had started the manifestations, blocking off access to the port, with workers in Iquique, Antofagasta and San Antonio following suit.

The source said the ports of Arica, San Vicente and Coronel were operating normally, but the latter two were considering joining the strike.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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