Argentine grain crushers drop strike on government order

Reuters

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 17 (Reuters) - An Argentine grain-crusher workers' union dropped a strike to back demands for salary increases just hours after it began on Friday after the government ordered union members back to work, a union leader said.

A business source and a union source told Reuters that the government ordered the union to suspend the strike for 10 days so it could try to negotiate a settlement.

"We'll lift the stoppage at 10 p.m.," said Daniel Yofra, the head of the union. The stoppage began at 4 p.m. local time (1900 GMT).

Strikes over pay and working conditions are common in Argentina, the world's biggest soyoil and soymeal exporter. Most of the work stoppages are short-lived and have no impact on the global flow of grains.

The brief stoppage affected grain traders Cargill, Bunge and Louis Dreyfus plants in the Rosario and Bahia Blanca areas, among others.

Grain exporters usually keep reserves to be able to deal with unexpected setbacks.

Argentine protesters have been demanding pay increases to compensate for eroding purchasing power caused by inflation, estimated by private analysts at about 25 percent.

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