Trade union strike brings Argentine ports to a halt

20 November 2012 (Last Updated November 20th, 2012 18:30)

A day-long strike on Tuesday by trade unions in Argentina, protesting against government policies, has hit port operations in the country, bringing them to a halt.

A day-long strike on Tuesday by trade unions in Argentina, protesting against government policies, has hit port operations in the country, bringing them to a halt.

The strike was carried out to protest against rising prices and to call for income-tax relief and other government benefits for workers.

Port exporters chamber official Guillermo Wade told Bloomberg that shipments have been waiting to be loaded with grain at all Parana River ports.

According to Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), all ships are expected to remain at anchorage or berth until the situation improves.

Port administration employees, immigration, customs, health and agriculture officials were all part of the 24-hour general strike, which is reported to the biggest strike of 2012 in terms of impact.

ISS Argentina regional operations manager of Americas Francisco Villagran said: "We have reported on a number of local and regional strikes during 2012 but this is the first strike affecting the whole country and its transport infrastructure."

Due to the strike, all domestic flights across the country were cancelled, bus and train lines were halted and major access routes to Buenos Aires have been blocked.