IndustriALL Global Union expresses its solidarity with the Esfuerzo Democrático (Democratic Effort) union of SAE Tecnotex, which belongs to its affiliate in Nicaragua, the National Federation of Unions of the Textile, Garment, Leather and Footwear Industries (FESITEX), in its fight to reverse the sentences of 12 workers of that textile enterprise.
IndustriALL director Fernando Lopes wrote a letter to the workers on behalf of the global union expressing his deep concern at the criminalization of the labour conflict at SAE-E, which has resulted in court sentences against 12 persons for “obstruction of the police it its duties”; two of the accused were additionally sentenced for “aggravated damage” by the Tipitapa Criminal Court.
“We consider the sentences to be unjust, since on 27 June 2016 the workers were merely exercising their right to protest and to demand better working conditions”
said Lopes in the letter. The employees are demanding access to purified water, an end to unachievable production targets, and the rehiring of two workers who were dismissed.
In late 2016, IndustriALL affiliates around the world joined a campaign in support of the 12 garment workers, and some 4,000 persons have signed a letter to the Nicaraguan government and to the Korean clothing manufacturer SAE A Tecnotex, calling for the workers to be released. In addition, many unions have sent letters of protest to the Nicaraguan embassies in their countries.
Since then, IndustriALL has continued to offer support and help. IndustriALL General Secretary Valter Sanches has written a letter to FNT National Coordinator and President of the National Assembly Gustavo Porras on 2 May to request a meeting with Assistant Regional Secretary Marino Vani and Pedro Ortega of FESITEX.
IndustriALL expects to get a reply from Porras before the appeal hearing scheduled for 11 May in Criminal Courtroom Two of the Appeals Court of Managua. At the meeting they intend to transmit to him the just demand of the workers and to obtain the reversal of their sentences.