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Mandatory conciliation stalls Argentinean union grain strike

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The Argentine province of Buenos Aires issued a mandatory conciliation late on Tuesday in the dispute involving Argentina's grain inspectors' union, URGARA, which has threatened to disrupt the critical grain exports sector.

As part of a dispute between the union and food exporting company Desdelsur SA, the union said that "we will comply with the conciliation but we will continue to be on alert and mobilise until the situation of the workers in the dispute is resolved".

On Tuesday, the union threated the possibility of an abrupt walkout at the country's ports.

As a result of the dispute, the local government "issued a five-day extension of the previous compulsory conciliation. Meanwhile the employer cannot retaliate against the workers, (and) URGARA must lift the strike", the union added on its Facebook page.

URGARA is an association of grain technicians who analyse grains held in storehouses and loaded on ships, so their strike could affect the country's grain trade.

Argentina is the world's leading exporter of soybean oil and meal, and the third-largest exporter of corn.

Argentina's economy is highly dependent on foreign exchange generated by its powerful agro-export sector. However, October is a slower month for the country's ports. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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