January 12, 2022

Uruguayan port workers suspend planned strike

Montevideo, Dec 24 (EFE) .- Workers at Montecon, one of the companies that operate in the port of Montevideo, have decided to suspend the strike they had planned to lead from this Friday after reaching an agreement with the company .

This was reported to Efe Martín García, president of the Montecon employees’ union, who explained that the measure was taken because the workers “had none of the proposals” they had made to maintain their working conditions.

“We are in the process of creating an agreement with the company to gain some time to see the decisions of the government. In a way, both parties depend on what the government decides, ”he added.

In contrast, he explained that workers will not go on strike for the rest of the year and will meet again in the early days of 2022.

On November 2, port employees at the Cuenca del Plata terminal – 80% of which belong to the Belgian company Katoen Natie and 20% to the Uruguayan state – approved the preliminary agreement of the collective agreement, which ended negotiations which opened since April and which had become complicated in early October when the conflict led to a 72-hour strike.

Although the wage deal was resolved there, conversations about Katoen Natie’s situation continued.

The Belgian company has obtained an extension of the concession – started in 2001 and for 30 years – until 2081 in an operation announced last March for an amount of 455 million dollars for the extension of the specialized container terminal.

With this, Katoen Natie concluded the dispute he had with the Uruguayan state “for violations” of the Treaty for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between Belgium-Luxembourg and Uruguay.

However, dockers argued that the expansion would affect Montecon, a competing company that operates in the port, and result in the loss of hundreds of jobs.

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