Minister Javier Touriñan stressed their efforts to seek social peace in Madryn. (Photo: chubut.gov.ar)
Alpesca agrees with unions on not firing workers
Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 03:30 (GMT + 9)
The company Alpesca, based in Puerto Madryn, and fishing associations signed a memorandum of agreement regarding the labour dispute, after the mediation of the Government of the province of Chubut.
The fishing company pledged not to lay off employees, to pay wages when appropriate and to have vessels operating in Puerto Madryn.
"After four hours’ discussion, we have agreed on drafting a minute in which the company, the government and labour sectors raised some points in pursuit of social peace in Puerto Madryn on the conflict," said the government minister of Chubut, Javier Touriñán, as InfoGlaciar reported.
Under the agreement, which will run for six months, Alpesca ensured that the other debt will be refinanced with providers of social work services.
Over the next six months, the unions will be able to have access to joint negotiations. And if any of the items are not met, the agreement will expire and the parties will be released, Diario Jornada reported.
After signing the agreement, the mayor of Madryn, Ricardo Sastre, met Alpesca workers and told them the news.
Sastre highlighted that the agreement "is a very important contribution to show that there is willingness to unlock this conflict" and characterised it as "the kickoff to transmit sufficient tranquility."
Meanwhile, Touriñán ratified the pact includes Alpesca’s commitment towards employment maintenance, wage payment security and the change of the company’s managers, "which generated conflicts."
"The company's fleet operations are guaranteed in Madryn to ensure the work of the United Maritime Workers Union (SOMU) and the Argentinean maritime Workers Union, dock workers in port and especially, the people of the Food Workers Union (STIA), which process the product at the plant," he added.
"It is no-one's willingness that the company ceases to operate or closes its doors definitely. This will not happen, at least that is the guarantee raised by the business sector, which has financial difficulties but its intention is to keep the business running in Madryn," added the Minister of Government.
The Secretary of Labour, Marcial Paz, explained the company "will respect the collective labour committees of each activity, labour legislation that signals the employment contract and the ship operations in the port of Puerto Madryn."
Yet, STIA general secretary, Luis Nuñez, requested guarantees "to regain the trust that was lost with the authorities."
And the Chamber of Commerce expressed concern about the Alpesca´s situation.
"It works on several levels. Perhaps we do not have much say in the most sensitive issue: jobs, but we will integrate the crisis committee and among other things, we will discuss the issue of suppliers, which always end up without their wages," the vice president of the entity, Esteban Abel, told Diario Madryn.
"We are aware of the bad time the fishing activity is experiencing as a consequence of this crisis, but traders and other sectors are also facing difficulties, and we must be accompanying them all," he added.
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