Jump to main content
IndustriALL logotype

Union win as DOW backtracks on decision to close plant in Argentina

21 October, 2021After two months of campaigning by workers, multinational DOW has gone back on its decision to close its plant in Puerto General San Martín, a closure where 4,000 jobs would have been lost.

In August, the petrochemicals company announced its intention to shut down the plant in Puerto General San Martín within a year, affecting 4,000 workers. The SOEPU union of petrochemicals workers at DOW launched a campaign to safeguard Argentina's industry and its petrochemicals workers, receiving support from almost all unions in Argentina, international federations and the global network of DOW workers.

As a closure would affect hundreds of companies across the country that would have to import polyurethane higher prices, the Argentinian government also got involved.

On 7 October, Cesira Arcando, a member of the Santa Fe parliament, met with workers to explain the work being done with SOEPU at the provincial and national levels to protect the jobs at risk.

On 13 October, Argentina's minister of productive development, Matías Kulfas, and the governor of Santa Fe, Omar Perotti, met with DOW's CEO for Latin America, Javier Constante, to discuss the competitive conditions needed for DOW to keep running the San Lorenzo plant.

After talks with  national and provincial authorities, DOW announced that the plant would remain open, safeguarding the jobs.

Mauricio Brizuela, SOEPU general secretary, thanked Santa Fe senators for supporting their cause, for treating industry as a tool for national growth and development and for provisionally approving a law declaring the plant a "public utility subject to expropriation".

Polyurethane is a key compound for the automotive industry and the production of white goods and mattresses.