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Uruguayan union leaders about higher unemployment in the country

Montevideo, May 28 (Prensa Latina) Union leaders warned about the growth of unemployment in Uruguay due to the closure of industrial plants, mostly owned by companies with foreign capital.

The alert was put out by the president of the Federation of Beverage Workers and Employees (FOEB), Fernando Pereira, whose union group rejects the decision of the Fábricas Nacionales de Cerveza (FNC) company to close the plant in Minas, department of Lavalleja.

Ferreira said that the department has the highest unemployment rates, which are increasing with the dismissal of FNC workers. “From the union movement, let’s sound the alarm about the industry in general,” said the union leader, who considered that qualified national labor is being replaced by imports. “Not all companies should be left in foreign hands. If you look at the big companies in the country, they are all multinationals,” he said.

The president of the Federation of Dairy Industry Workers, Enrique Méndez, stated that Uruguay is experiencing a process of economic concentration and primary focus of the industry. “You end up exporting more raw materials and no added value is generated,” he said.

At least five plants from different industries have closed in the country this year: the Tsakos floating dock, the only one in Uruguay, and the construction company Balsa & Asociados, left their employees without jobs. Then followed Fanacif, a brake assembly company with Brazilian capital, and more recently the beer and other beverages plant in Minas, Lavalleja.

One of the main arguments for the closures focuses on alleged problems of industrial competitiveness regarding foreign productions.