Published: 20/12/2011

Since new management took over in 2002 by a group composed of young and senior leaders led by Hector Ponce, ATILRA (Association of Dairy Industry Workers of Argentina) has continued to grow, both nationally and internationally.

Ten years ago the organization was going through an extremely critical moment, difficult and even hopeless in economic terms and their representation in the business and relations with the authorities of state.

Observing now the role of consolidation and ATILRA, we can affirm that the process begun in 2002 supports unequivocally the characterization of “re-organization”.

How to explain this remarkable transformation? What are the tools and keys with which ATILRA accesses and is positioned in this new reality? Our growing relationship with this affiliate allows us to identify some key responses.

The new leadership rescued and reinvented the ongoing and effective dialogue with all members in the country. In this dynamic highlights the spread of many areas of training and formation of new, different and attractive publications and, not least, a proper relationship with the local media and regional visibility contributed to the work of ATILRA.

To this we add the deepening of the struggle against precarious work and unregistered employment. In this regard, there have been dozens of audits that have allowed a large number of workers in the labor and union framework that are now included in the Convention of the industry.

A high point in the work of ATILRA, which reveals the close bond with their new members, is defending the purchasing power of wages. In this regard, we stress that the recovery of wages in the last two years reached almost 80 percent.
Beyond Borders

At the international level, and as a result of increasing participation within the IUF, ATILRA is advancing and gaining significant recognition.

In 2005, with the sponsorship of the Latin American Regional Secretariat of the IUF signed a cooperation agreement with the Dairy Workers Union of New Zealand (NZDWU), with the idea of formalizing a process of monitoring Latin America on the implementation of the Framework Agreement signed by the IUF, Fonterra and NZDWU, with the approval of the New Zealand government and the ILO in 2002.

 The exchange of information and contacts with this important union ATILRA boosted the need to organize an International Conference of the IUF Dairy, which was finalized in March 2010 in Buenos Aires and Sunchales, Santa Fe province, Argentina.
As a direct result of this Conference, April 2010, the IUF Executive Committee unanimously approved the creation of a Dairy Sector Worldwide, for which Héctor Ponce was elected president.

It is also highlighted the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between ATILRA and Agri-Food Federation of the UGT-Spain, also in 2010 that led to the development of a joint agenda which included the following activities:

 The Days of psychosocial risk in the dairy industry, which met in Cordoba, Spain, from 26 to 28 July 2010, which benefited from the analysis and to the shoulder of the industry, small farmers, cooperative members and a series of technical and connoted academic career.

-And last May 5, Sebastian Serena, secretary of the FTA Industrial Relations, addressed the meeting of the Board of ATILRA giving a lecture on the dairy industry in Spain which was evaluated very positively by all participants.

On that day a new cooperation agreement was signed between ATILRA and FTA, reinforcing coordination in health and safety issues at work and training.

 Arturo Jorge Videla, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Dairy and Fisheries of the Argentine government was present in the meeting, welcomed the new cooperation agreement expressing their satisfaction with the agreements reached between the signatory organizations.

Finally, ATILRA has known as “unwrapping” the organization, taking it beyond the professional interests and the four walls of the processing plants. Today we look at an organization which is sensitive to the problems of the sector, especially with the crisis that hit small producers.

So it is no coincidence that the Ministry of Agriculture of the Nation, through its Department of Dairy, has chosen ATILRA for the design, development and implementation of the National Dairy Plan.

 For Hector Ponce, “The sustainability of this Plan will depend on the participation and commitment of all who are part of the dairy sector, and must go beyond a government’s aspiration to become a true state policy. ATILRA enthusiastically supports this initiative, “said the leader.

For the team of ATILRA there is much to do, but each of its members know with pride that the work done in these nine years was for a better future particularly for all the family owned dairy business in Argentina.

Read the article on the Rel-UITA website(in Spanish)