The quarantine halted activity in two out of 10 Cordovan metallurgical companies

Two out of 10 metallurgical companies in Córdoba had to completely stop their activity during the quarantine due to the Covid-19 virus.

Although this sector had a better pass than its peers in the metropolitan area of ​​Buenos Aires (Amba), it did not fare as well as the metallurgists in Santa Fe. The incidence of the coronavirus in each area added to the degree of dependence they have on the Automotive terminals are the most important factors.

The data comes from a survey of the Association of Metallurgical Industrialists of the Argentine Republic (Adimra) throughout the country with data from the end of May and the first days of June, according to which 45 percent of companies register falls of 50 percent in their production levels compared to the moment before quarantine.

The study warns that 18 percent of Cordovan metallurgical companies totally stopped their activity, while in Amba that percentage reached 31 percent.

In Córdoba, half of the firms registered drops in production of up to 50 percent, while 38 percent showed declines in sales of 50 percent or more in relation to the days prior to isolation.

But, compared to Santa Fe, the situation was tougher in Córdoba. For example, only six percent of the metallurgical companies in the neighboring province recorded falls of more than 60 percent in sales.

“This has to do with two factors. One is the impact that the Covid-19 had in each area of ​​the country and the other is the dependence on the automotive sector,” says Eduardo Borri, president of the Chamber of Metal and Industrial Components of Córdoba. (Cimcc), a member entity of Adimra.

Of the three regions of the country where the metallurgical industry is strong, Buenos Aires is the area where the coronavirus hit the most; Córdoba shows better indicators, but not as good as those of Santa Fe.

But, in addition, Cordovan metalworking activity is more influenced by the automotive industry, with four terminals (Renault, Nissan, FCA and Iveco). On the contrary, in the neighboring province the manufacturing of agricultural machinery has a greater sectorial incidence, against a single terminal, that of General Motors.

It should be remembered that the patenting of 0 km vehicles in the country accumulated until May fell above 45 percent.

On the other hand, sales of agricultural machinery between January and March fell between five and eight percent compared to the same period in 2019 and in the accumulated until May, even with the quarantine, the drop stretched to only 10 percent, according to the data of the Association of Manufacturers of Agricultural Machinery and Agrocomponents of Córdoba (Afamac), entity that hopes to improve in the second half and match the figures of last year.

The third major market for the metallurgical industries is construction, which was also paralyzed in both public and private works.

The Adimra study warns in this context that only 41 percent of the Cordovan metalworkers are in a position to pay the half bonus in full in a timely manner. The rest need some official help or pay in installments.

“It will depend on the situation of each company. Those that are active will surely pay the entire bonus; but there is a significant amount that is not and it will surely agree with its employees to do it in two to four installments ”, adds Borri.

Complaint of dismissals

For Rubén Urbano, general secretary in Córdoba of the Unión Obrera Metalúrgica (UOM), during the quarantine at least 50 jobs were lost, most of them contracts not renewed, something that for the union should not have happened due to the prohibition of layoffs set by the national government.

“The problem is that the Province Ministry of Labor only holds hearings through videoconference; the solutions are stretched, the workers are getting tired and end up accepting any offer ”, explains Urbano.