20 March 2023
The Union of Workers of the Footwear Industry of the Argentine Republic, UTICRA, headed by Agustín Amicone, is preparing a project that creates the conditions for further development of the footwear industry in the country. The entity met with businessmen, officials and legislators to advance in the presentation of a project to promote the sector.
As announced by Amicone, a bill promoted by UTICRA that has the endorsement of the Chamber of the Footwear Industry (CIC) and the technical support of the Ministry of Production of the province of Buenos Aires will be presented in the coming months. The proposal includes a registry of importers, the gradual replacement of footwear by components and imported components by national ones, a pricing policy for the local market and the creation of an institute dedicated to promoting technology, caring for the environment, together with the knowledge and dissemination of the sector.
In relation to the project, the veteran union leader pointed out that “the most remarkable thing is that here there is a systematic work process, of workers and businessmen, public and private sectors, in defense of Argentine work.” With this law, Amicone added, the sector would be protected from a “new wave of importation and deindustrialization.” At the same time, it would generate the creation of new jobs and the projection of the industry towards foreign markets.
Referring to the changes that have occurred in recent years, Amicone highlighted that “the footwear industry was transformed, due to a series of factors, ranging from the country’s political and macroeconomic ups and downs to global fashion and consumer trends. Before, dress shoes were used, in the case of women, with a heel, in the case of men with a toe and buttress, which was intensive in labor and required highly qualified workers. That was changing, now other types of shoes are used, which have a useful life of two or three years. That footwear industry, that of the last century, did not disappear, but it was reduced a lot and is resisting”.
The UTICRA secretary explained that “in the world, preferences were for sports shoes and these shoes are produced by global players, who decide where in the world to assemble their components where they find the lowest cost.”
But as this situation is changing due to the need for local production and the predicted drop in the consumption of ‘sports’, the union sector promotes the need to protect the Argentine industry. In this sense, Amicone believes that “planning and promotion are needed” and to achieve this “interests must be made compatible” among all sectors of the industry.