Hector Ponce: “We are concerned that the producer of the dairy industry has a good return”
Buenos Aires, May 11, 2012
The headquarters of the Association of Dairy Industry Workers of Argentina (ATILRA) was the venue for a meeting between the secretary general of the union, Hector Luis Ponce and the Minister of Production in Entre Rios province Roberto Schunk.
The meeting focused on solving the problems of the Cooperative Tambera of Paraná (Cotapa), which presents certain abnormalities in the management mainly on workers’ irregularity labor situation.
“I asked the partner to talk about Cotapa process,” the minister said. “It is a cooperative that was in completely bankruptcy with 140 workers and the provincial government took the decision to go ahead, mainly because the jobs,” he added.
“I came to tell what the situation in the company is, because there is a decision taken by the provincial government to get involved and be a direct actor in the new society,” Schunk said.
He said the average age of workers was 40 years old, who is “people would not get a job again and would not be able to retire.”
He acknowledged. “We are with some problems,” although “there was reconciliation” in conversation with Ponce. “I am very aware of ATILRA position but we must keep talking,” he said.
“I have high expectations all the time because I always argue with people of good will, I am sure that I fight the same fight for him. So we did what we did, but the company would not exist today, probably it would have been exported,” he added.
He further stated that “when markets are concentrated, in this case we are talking about an oligopoly of many small players who sell and very few who buy, large firms are vertically integrated and small farmers disappear. Today from the 1633 dairy farms in the province 90% are family dairy farms.”
Meanwhile, Hector Ponce, said he and the minister “have the same goals,” namely “that the activity can be strengthen, to grow, because we care that producers have a good return, the industrials can be profitable to pay the salaries of workers and Argentina in the context of regional economies continue to have a dairy as one of the elements for the growth of little towns.”
“We also take this opportunity to clarify on a version that came out wrong in a news portal for our stay in Gualeguaychú with the Council on human management and workers of the cooperative Cotagú where I supposedly had expressed that Cotapa was a negative and prejudicial for Cotagu, something that is false, I take this opportunity to say that I have always said the opposite,” Ponce assured.
He added: “I think there is a joint effort by the provincial government and the nation state and what the union is concerned, trying to accompany all proactive policies that tend to strengthen and positively projecting the future of the dairy”.
But he added that “there are some actors in the chain that compete unfairly and we will say with all the letters, there is a company as La Sibila, which from the economic standpoint and from a financial standpoint, it has great advantages over of the other companies, mainly on Cotapa and Cotagu, and we understand that it must have the same treatment as other dairy companies, ie they must have the collective agreement governing the dairy industry.”