ViolenceFriday, September 25, 2009
Violent incidents at Kraft factory, 65 detained
Workers of Kraft Foods - managers of food manufacturer Terrabusi - violently clashed with police outside the factor, the incident left 12 injured and 65 detained.
The company signed an agreement at the Labour Ministry in which it vowed to "remain in the country, maintain existing jobs, and pay corresponding wages," according to owner Silvia Squire. However, no mention was made of the 152 workers that were laid off last month.
"The Labour Ministry tried by all means to maintain all jobs," assured Squire during a press conference.
The company has repeatedly refused to hire back the workers who were laid off in August after they broke machines and assembly lines as part of a labour dispute. Today's meeting at the Labour Ministry took place while workers of the factory and left-wing supporting organizations staged several protests to increase pressure on the company.
University students in Buenos Aires blocked the intersection of Callao and Corrientes Avenue in the City to support the employees of the US-firm, while Kraft workers protested in Pacheco, Greater Buenos Aires.
Cabinet Chief Aníbal Fernández had earlier said the Border Guard would "not allow" any roadblocks in the Panamericana Highway today. Fernández said “the Labour Ministry has to act rapidly to put an end to the dispute."
“I’ve spoken to members of the government of the province of Buenos Aires, and I asked them to flex their muscles. This conflict must reach an end soon,” Aníbal Fernández added.
About 200 workers of Kraft Foods blocked the Henry Ford avenue in Pacheco, which links the Panamericana highway and Route 8 in front of the factory, after the police did not allow employees to return to it this morning. A few eployees remained inside, but police sources said they were forced to leave.
Production in Kraft's factory has remained suspended for 37 days, as workers were initially demanding a pay increase.