Minister Knoop at a meeting with the new auditor of the firm, Diego Marzioni. (Photo: santacruz.gov.ar)
Santa Cruz takes control of fishing firm Vieira
Friday, August 31, 2012, 02:00 (GMT + 9)
The company Vieira SA was taken over by the Government of the province of Santa Cruz, which could be a prelude to the expropriation process planned by four deputies of the party to which the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, belongs.
The Spanish fishing company Eduardo Vieira owns seven vessels, a factory and other assets in Puerto Deseado, Argentina.
Governor Daniel Peralta from Santa Cruz met with officials of the Undersecretariat of Fisheries on Friday, and after the meeting he said the decision was taken "due to the serious economic problems that it [the company] is undergoing and the consequent implications that it brings to the employees."
The provincial Minister of Production, Rafael Gilmartin, announced this week that the governor had signed the decree of intervention (No. 1737) late on Monday.
"This is a temporary intervention for a period of 60 days, and it is renewable, where the State takes over the operation of the plant to deal with the situation employees are facing," he explained. The measure also affects beam trawlers and jiggers the company owns.
In addition, he anticipated that an audit will be carried out in the firm to check if it keeps debts with suppliers.
Santa Cruz government sources clarified that the intention is to find out if another company --or several other firms – can take control of the plant and the boats to offer continuity to the economic activity and to avoid losing jobs.
Meanwhile the president of the parent company, Eduardo Vieira, assured that up to Wednesday he had not received the official confirmation that the subsidiary in Argentina had been taken over.
"There seems to be rumors, but if it has happened, we have not been notified," the executive told EFE agency.
In addition, a Minister of the Government of the Patagonian province, Paola Knoop, has already met with the new supervisor of the fishing firm, Diego Marzioni, who was appointed by the Executive of Santa Cruz to ensure the labour security; and with Gilmartin. The meeting was also attended by the provincial deputy Selsa Hernández; the president of the Honorable Council of Puerto Deseado, Lidia Gallardo; and the general secretary of the Workers Union of Food Industries (STIA), Víctor Hugo Aguilar.
Marzioni explained that "taking over Vieira was the only possible solution. The main objective of the action is to preserve labour security and to restore social balance in Puerto Deseado."
"About 110 families could have lost their jobs directly at the plant, plus all the seafaring personnel depending on the fleet," she added.
Furthermore, Minister Knoop said that "the provincial government made a decision that was necessary given the difficult state which the company was undergoing with the imminent danger of labour interruption."
"We are convinced that the only way to reverse this situation is by working jointly with the workers and the community representatives to ensure that social peace is sustained," she pointed out.
Aguilar also said that taking over the firm "was the only way out," and thanked the provincial government for taking the decision.
Vieira Argentina SA requested its reorganization and declared itself in default on 11 July.
- Vieira’s workers given the sack
- Concerns in Spain about attempts to expropriate Vieira
By Analia Murias