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Support Colombian Glass Workers Facing Mass Dismissal

31.05.2012

The Colombian subsidiary of US-based glass company Ross International, Moldes Medellin, is attempting to dismiss the majority of its employees at the Sabaneta and Estrella Antioquia plants, despite social bargaining agreements protecting the workers’ rights to their jobs.

The workers are members of ICEM-affiliated Sintravidricol and the union is leading the campaign against the dismissals. So far 20 employees have been forced out either through unilateral decisions of management or under the pretence of a “voluntary agreement” which has no other possible alternative than the worker losing their job.

The fear now is that Moldes Medellin will cut its workforce by half, condemning 60 workers and their families to unemployment. Management is accused of targeting the unionised workers in the cuts, punishing the exercising of freedom to organise.

If the mass dismissal is not stopped, Moldes Medellin will effectively crush the Sintravidricol plant-level unions. Sintravidricol then calls for solidarity and support in this conflict for labour rights and job stability.

Write in protest to the company’s legal representative Doctor Carlos Daniel Posada Duque

Solicitamos a todos pronunciarse, enviando notas de protesta y exigiendo el respeto por el derecho al trabajo y la estabilidad laboral, al representante legal de la empresa, Doctor CARLOS DANIEL POSADA DUQUE, and to the Colombian Minister of Labour, Doctor Gustavo Alberto Areiza. Send copies to the union addresses: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected].

Sintravidricol organised Ross International subsidiaries through a hard fought victory in December 2007, achieving recognition and a collective agreement following a 23-day strike, and a three-year struggle that garnered international support through the ICEM, with key support from the United Steelworkers (USW).

The agreement made all 240 workers at the three plants full-time employees, whereas the majority were previously on fixed-term contracts.Those hard-won advances are now at serious risk.