UPDATE 1-Argentine grains workers sign wage deal, averting strike
(Recasts with wage increase agreed, strike called off)
BUENOS AIRES, June 22 (Reuters) - Port workers at Argentina's Rosario grains hub have called off a strike that was planned for Tuesday after agreeing with export companies to a 31.5 percent wage increase, a union official said.
"We already have a deal so the strike is off," said Alberto Maldonado, an official with the San Lorenzo chapter of the CGT labor federation. "We have just signed a 31.5 percent hike."
Andres Alcaraz, a spokesman for CIARA, an umbrella group of grain millers and exporters, confirmed that a deal had been reached and the strike was off.
Wage negotiations are tough in Argentina because of soaring inflation, which private economists estimate at more than 25 percent. The government has said it is around 15 percent.
A strike at Rosario would have slowed soy and corn exports in the middle of Argentina's main harvesting and shipping season.
San Lorenzo covers the northern districts of the Rosario hub where multinational companies such as Bunge Ltd, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus Commodities BV have crushing plants and ports.
The CGT counts quality control inspectors and dock workers among its members in Rosario.
Argentina is the world's leading supplier of soymeal and soyoil. (Reporting by Maximiliano Rizzi; Writing by Hugh Bronstein and Sarah Marsh; Editing by Grant McCool, Toni Reinhold)
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