Officials from the Secretary of Labor conducted blueberry field inspections as part of a joint work with producers and trade unions to strengthen safety measures and improve controls. The government noted that the sector complies with the regulations in force against child labor.
The province, through the Secretary of Labor, is carrying out joint actions with the Association of Blueberry Producers of the Argentine Mesopotamia (APAMA) and the Argentine Blueberry Committee (ABC) to support the development of blueberry production and ensure compliance with the labor regulations applicable to the sector.
The Secretary of Labor of Entre Ríos, Ángel Zacarías, explained that: “the joint actions are framed within the agreement recently executed, based on the commitment undertaken by all stakeholders, to fight against child labor and to protect the rights of adolescent work”. He also mentioned the interministerial public policies carried out by the province with the aim of protecting the rights of children and adolescents.
As a result of these actions, the Secretary of Development and Employment, Mariela Ponce and the Decent Work Coordinator, Ariel Villanueva, visited the plantations located in Concordia together with the representative of the National Ministry of Labor, Guillermo Satalía Méndez, and representatives of the sector, members of APAMA and ABC.
During the field visits to two companies, Agroberries and Extraberries, officials were able to verify the working conditions and made the programs available from the Undersecretariat for Development and Employment to support the development of the sector.
Commitment to the prevention of child labor
Regarding child labor, Villanueva praised the implementation of the PAR project, a private initiative of the sector together with ABC and Fundación DyA, which “carries out direct actions and has an awareness-raising stage”. This year is the year of the pilot project, explained the sector.
“It has to do with a trial in 4 fields in the country, where workshops and direct actions are carried out in the territory to implement regulations and ensure access to information on the prevention of child labor in all links in the chain”, explained Federico Bayá, president of ABC, who also stated that “our firm belief and resources are at the service of this program, responsible production is a reality that we want to materialize in every field in the country so that it also becomes our differentiating feature”.
Villanueva deemed essential “to coordinate actions with the business and trade union sector in order to prevent child labor, since it is a stigmatized sector, but one that has been complying well with the regulations in force regarding child labor”.
In turn, the president of APAMA, Alejandro Pannunzio highlighted the support of the government of Entre Ríos through these actions and guaranteed the commitment of the sector to move forward on the subject. “For years the sector has been engaged and decided to take action on the matter, that is why we celebrate the fact that the Secretary of Labor has come to check our practices”, he stated. –