16 May, 2013On May 17, IndustriALL Argentine affiliates will meet to discuss the fight against precarious work. The Argentinian Pneumatic Workers Union (SUTNA), which has made this struggle a priority, is a model. Today, thanks to SUTNA, precarious workers represent less than 1 per cent of the tyre production workforce, down from 15 per cent in 2008.
Until 2006, outsourced workers in the tyre industry in Argentina were covered by a separate collective agreement and did not have the same wages and benefits as permanent workers with more seniority. At the April IndustriALL World Conference on Rubber Industries, Pedro Wasiejsko, general secretary of the SUTNA explained how these outsourced workers were progressively integrated as permanent employees in the Pirelli, Bridgestone and FATE factories in Argentina.
The solidarity of permanent workers was essential to achieve this result. In 2006, these workers agreed seek through collective bargaining settlement of the outsourcing issue rather than pursuing improvements to conditions for themselves. At the same time, SUTNA was pursuing a policy of organizing precarious workers who were reluctant to join the union, warned by their employment agency not deal with SUTNA. The trade union developed strategies to approach these outsourced workers.
Since 2006, the Union has succeeded in limiting precarious work in the entire sector through collective bargaining at company and sectoral levels. In Bridgestone for example, the maintenance and tyre storage sectors were the most affected by the outsourcing. In the collective agreement in force since 2011, a clause was negotiated in which the company agreed that only permanent workers would work in these sectors. Therefore, it was agreed that the number of outsourced staff would be progressively reduced by incorporating them into the permanent workforce and that this process would be finalised before the end of the validity of the collective agreement.
A similar clause was also negotiated in 2011 with Pirelli, which accepted that all outsourced workers in the scrap tyre recycling sector would become direct company employees, maintaining their seniority level in the incorporation process.
SUTNA now plans to negotiate on behalf of cleaning and security workers.