Back in April, State-owned dairy Lácteos Los Andes was in pretty critical shape, according to its workers. Almost four months later, it got worse.
Company-staff held a protest on Monday in front of the Vice-President’s offices, asking the government to rescue the firm. They said Los Andes only has enough stocks to keep going for two more weeks.
Days ago, the company reported an increase in production last month, something immediately denied by the workers. Distributors have reported at least a 50% reduction in the shipment of products like milk, juice or yogurt (in the case of UHT-processed products, the drop reaches 60%). They have witnessed a drop in finished products since January.
During a recent workers’ assembly, they explained what are the reasons behind Los Andes’ low production: mismanagement, overdependance on imports (most of the fruit pulp for juices comes from China) and an expired collective bargaining agreement since three years.
Raúl Rodríguez, high-ranking member of the workers’ union puts the blame on “…capitalists who control the company, which offer no answer to the shortage of raw materials.” So that makes sense then…
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