Inspectors for Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture will go on strike beginning Monday if their demands for salary increases, vocational school benefits and changes to how they're assigned jobs aren't met this week by the federal government.
Brazil's federal agricultural inspectors are responsible for monitoring the transit of ag-related products in ports, airports and across borders, along with the use of crop pesticides.
There are currently 3,246 inspectors for all of Brazil, a woefully inadequate number, according to the inspectors' union, which has asked for the immediate hiring of 1,500 more inspectors as well.
A strike could almost immediately halt the export of a wide variety of meat products that require inspector approval, said Francisco Victer, president of the National Meat Industries Union, or Uniec.
Without inspectors on hand to confirm meat shipments for their often mandated international health certificate, “exports of meat and offal will be immediately suspended,” Victer said Wednesday, in a letter to Minister of Agriculture Mendes Ribeiro Filho.
“Not exporting will generate a product surplus in cold storage, which will prevent new slaughter and fresh supply.”
Agricultural inspectors and their union leaders held protest acts in Brasilia on Wednesday and had a meeting scheduled with the Ministry of Planning for Aug. 2.
The inspectors' list of demands has been discussed with the government since May, and a strike was recently green-lit by the union because of little progress in negotiations.
The wage increase demanded by the agricultural inspectors is in line with what other federal employees' unions are asking for in similar strike situations: a union-wide salary bump of 22.08 percent, equal to Brazilian inflation since 2010 and the recorded growth of gross domestic product
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
Back to News Headlines