The conflict in the tire sector worsened: the union entrenched itself inside the Ministry of Labor and there are new blockades

The unionists on the balcony of the Labor headquarters on Callao Street
The unionists on the balcony of the Labor headquarters on Callao Street

The conflict in the tire industry has been going on for five months and there seems to be no resolution in sight.

In the midst of new blockades to the plants and with members of the Sutna union – which brings together the workers of the sector – who declared an indefinite strike and are entrenched inside one of the offices of the Ministry of Labor, the situation is increasingly complex. There is talk again of a possible shortage of roofs, while other members of the union demonstrated outside the ministry and blocked traffic on Callao Avenue.

“Today was a very difficult day”they explained from FATE, one of the companies involved.

Sutna's protest and other union and political forces
Sutna’s protest and other union and political forces

“After 5 months of conflict, a joint offer was made, which you may or may not like, but despite the time that has elapsed, instead of lowering the decibels and dialoguing, what happened at the hearing is that the union again blocked the plants . This time there was a very virulent attitude in the ministry, very aggressive. They ended up occupying the Ministry. There is no dialogue channel and we do not know the motivations for everything that is happening. We are on our way to something very serious that I do not see how it could be unlocked”, highlighted from the company that presides over Javier Madanes Quintanilla.

FATE, Bridgestone and Pirelli are the main brands with local manufacture and more than 60% of the Argentine market. They locally produce about 6 million tires a year and it is estimated that since the beginning of the conflict they stopped producing more than 1.3 million units, almost a quarter of the annual production. The plants of the three companies were again blocked by the union.

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From the private sector, they define the union’s actions as “savage” and affirm that payment of 200% of the hours worked during weekends is required, a measure that is alien to the current labor agreement, which establishes the 6×2 system: operators work 6 consecutive days and then have 2 francs, on rotating days. For each day worked, they charge 100%, regardless of the day of the week they do it, and if they add additional days, they charge the extras at 150% or 200%, depending on the day in question.

FATE, Bridgestone locally produce about 6 million tires a year
FATE, Bridgestone locally produce about 6 million tires a year

“There are no more conciliatory instances. We are immersed in a conflict that seems to have no end, “he said days ago Madanes Quintanilla. “The level of missing is tremendous. There are products that are available but at crazy prices”added the businessman who had warned a month ago that if the conflict continued to spread it would be “easier to find the remains of Noah’s Ark than to get tires.”

″They are there, on the fourth floor of Callao, they want to stay… let them stay”they said in the portfolio in charge of Claudius Moroni. According to what this medium could know, there are nine representatives of the union who are in the labor portfolio, from where they assure that 33 hearings were held between the unionists and the companies.

“This time there was a very virulent attitude in the ministry, with a lot of aggressiveness. They ended up occupying the Ministry” (FATE)

”We are going to stay with the union representation with a permanence within the Ministry of Labor because this cannot be allowed”said from inside the Buenos Aires headquarters of the portfolio located in Callao 100 the general secretary of Sutna, Alexander Crespo. The union denounces that the companies and the Government are trying to impose the closure of the 2021-2022 joint ventures for workers in the sector.

An assembly of the Sutna on one of the floors
An assembly of the Sutna on one of the floors

Regarding the origin of the conflict, Crespo specified: “The employers and the Government intend to destroy the parity. They want to dictatorially impose the closure of the 2021-2022 parity without the agreement of the union and totally ignoring the demands of the workers. Also, unilaterally propose an insignificant increase in the 2022-2023 parity of 38% when official projections reach almost 100% for that period, thus constituting an unprecedented offense to workers as a whole and a flagrant violation of all labor laws of our country”.

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Precautionary measures

As part of the conflict, yesterday Customs assured that detected an abusive use of precautionary measures in the importation of tires. The agency explained that a single company imported through 30 precautionary measures presented to the Justice from the year 2020.

“The total amount of the precautionary measures requested was USD 156.7 million, of which only 23% was used. Having verified that the company maintained existence in stock with respect to imported merchandise, Customs went to court to revoke the injunctions granted by not having verified one of the essential requirements: the danger in the delay to grant the judicial benefit. These requested precautionary measures did not respond to emergencies nor did they avoid a possible ‘danger in delay’ since the company has authorizations available through judicial channels that double its historical import maximums. The objective of the company is to overstock merchandise at the value of the official dollar”, they expressed from the organization that directs William Michael.

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