Ledesma SAAI, which produces sugar, alcohol, biofuels, paper, export fruits, juices and essential oils, at the end of September 2022 published a net profit of 5,637 million pesos on its website, while a report from CEPA-Centro de Political Economy Argentina – also from September 2022 shows that the company Ledesma SAAI increased its profitability, causing what they call labor costs to fall abruptly, going from representing 24.7% in 2014 to 21.1% in 2022.

Sugar workers below the poverty line

Such is the fall in the wage bill and the violation of acquired labor rights in relation to the growing profit of the Ledesma company and the increase in inflation, that from the beginning of 2022 to January 2023 the salaries of category 1 sugar workers they only increased by drops from 59,000 pesos to 104,000 pesos, 76.3%, while the cost of the Total Basic Basket of DiPEC -Provincial Directorate of Statistics and Censuses-, which sets the poverty line increased by 97.7% , going from 77,084 pesos in January 2022 to 152,381 pesos in January 2023. The wage bill depreciates even more with respect to inflation because for years the employer has refused to treat in the sugar parity along with the wage increase also the rights to improvements in working conditions established in the agreement and agreement minutes such as categorizations, effectiveness and more working time. All these demands established in the agreement minutes and in the sugar agreement that are being violated by this millionaire company, together with having caused wages to fall resoundingly, contribute to the fact that it is increasingly reducing its “labor costs” and increasing its profits. This advance of the Ledesma company on the income and rights of the workers, by way of transfer of resources from the workers to the company, occurs under the national government of Fernandez (FDT-PJ), which promised to “fill the refrigerator with the workers”, “to return the barbecue to the table of the Argentines” and that “the last would be the first”, and under the provincial government of Morales (UCR-JxC), because both govern and legislate at the service of the economic power of the company Ledesma SAAI.

Meanwhile, the factory and field sugar workers, who with their joint work generate millionaire profits for the Blaquier family company, are in poverty, since they receive salaries that are 48,381 pesos below the cost of the Basket Basic Total for a family of 4 members, and 61,696 pesos below the CBT for a family of 5 members, which costs 165,696 pesos.

Assembly iLet the base be expressed by a salary increase equal to the cost of living!

Given the gap between extraordinary profits and galloping inflation in relation to poverty wages and violated working conditions, it is necessary that the executive committee of the SOEAIL-Sindicato de Obreros y Empleados del Azúcar del Ingenio Ledesma- convene the workers bases to the assembly, so that it deliberates, resolves and mandates the board of directors to demand as a floor a salary increase equal to the cost of living and adjustable to inflation, the fulfillment of the 11 months of work, the effectiveness for temporary workers and eventual and recategorizations.

Unit to recover salary and end temporary work

In the unity, organization and mobilization of the workers, the sugar family and the community of the Department of Ledesma, there is the social force to conquer these heartfelt demands and also provide a fundamental solution to the problem of temporary work, the lack of genuine work and the deterioration of the health and life of the workers of the mill and farms, since if the production and the work are organized not according to the individual profit of a business family, but at the service of the needs of the working majority, it could reduce the working day at 6 hours. without a salary reduction, so that the workers do not ruin their health doing repetitive tasks in strenuous days, and so that the unemployed, after acquiring training, can enter work with rights and obtain a stable income, plus taking into account that the Ingenio Ledesma is a factory with significant productivity and modernization but at the same time it is highly unhealthy.

In the countryside, where the monoculture of sugar cane and citrus reigns, and where there are hectares of idle land, it could be diversified, incorporating new crops, and expanding the cultivated land, and thus provide work with rights all year round for both temporary workers as well as the unemployed. As stated in the interharvest bill presented by the national deputy for the PTS FITU, Alejandro Vilca, together with rural and agro-industrial workers at the end of last year in the National Congress. This initiative of the PTS FIT U started from echoing a heartfelt demand, as an income equal to the salary of a rural laborer every month, with a retirement contribution and social work, for rural workers and temporary agro-industrial workers who have been discharged from the seasonal tasks they perform during the sugar harvest or harvest, given that today the workers in this condition only receive a palliative for a couple of months by resolution of the Ministry of Labor of the Nation a small sector of temporary workers , leaving a considerable part of the rural and agro-industrial sectors without access to the palliative.

Source: www.laizquierdadiario.com

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