Gerdau workers take global action demanding safety improvements

23.09.2010

Workers protest, hold minute of silence in Spain, Colombia, Canada, Chile and Brazil after a worker died on September 5 at a Gerdau plant in Spain.

GLOBAL: Following the death of a worker at a Gerdau plant in Spain on September 5, workers and their unions at Gerdau plants around the world took united action demanding improvements in workplace health and safety.

A 28-year-old subcontracted metalworker called Aitor, died on September 5 after being trapped at chest level between one car and a casting piece at the Sidenor Gerdau plant in Basauri, Spain.

In Spain, all plants of Gerdau-Sidenor stopped their production for one and a half hours on September 6 with demonstrations in the front gates of the plants, and received good coverage of the action in the media:

In Colombia the workers conducted a minute of silence at the Gerdau plants in Tuta and Duitama, as shown in the photos publish on the IMF website here.

In Canada a minute of silence was held at plants in Selkirk, Manitoba, Whitby and Cambridge, Ontario.

A minute of silence was conducted in all the plants of Gerdau in Chile at Aza, Matco, Armacero and Salomón Sack.

In Brazil, most of the plants were IMF affiliates CNM/CUT and CNTM/FS are present a minute of silence was conducted and a bulletin on the issue was distributed to members.

Since the creation of the Gerdau Global Workers' Committee in 2006 the workers, supported by the International Metalworkers' Federation, have been trying to gain recognition from the company of the global committee so as to discuss improving workplace health and safety at all Gerdau plants.