On 11 June, workers at Protisa Peru mobilised to protest against job discrimination and the company’s systematic persecution of trade unionists.
Sutraprotisa, affiliated to the Peruvian Manufacturing Workers Federation (FETRMAP), in its turn affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, organized a demonstration to protest against anti-union persecution, and to demand the on-time payment workers' wages and a change in the management of human resources.
Workers gathered outside the main gates of the Compañía de Productos Tissue Perú SA (Protisa) factory in the province of Lima. Demonstrators claim that the human resources department has committed repeated abuses against unionised workers.
According to union members, the company makes a clear distinction between unionised and non-unionised workers. For example, the former are required to carry loads of between 80 to 90 kg, which is a health risk and causes back problems, osteoarthritis in the knees and cardiovascular problems.
Furthermore, this requirement violates ILO Recommendation 128 with regard to the maximum weight a worker can be expected to carry which should not exceed 55 kg.
The union also says that work-related accidents, ranging from electric shocks to loss of limbs, occur every month due to poor occupational safety practices. In addition, the HR department puts pressure on them to work very long hours.
In addition to its protest action, the trade union has announced that the general secretary of CGTP (the General Confederation of Peruvian Workers), Gerónimo López, will present a dossier to the Labour Commission of Congress to draw attention to the company's bad practices.
Protisa is a Chilean company which has been operating in Peru since 1995 and manufactures tissue products. It is in turn part of Compañía Manufacturera de Papeles y Cartones (CMPC), the world's largest pulp manufacturers and one of the largest companies in Latin America.
Unions affiliated to IndustriALL in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay are all part of the CMPC trade union network.
Tom Grinter, responsible for pulp and paper at IndustriALL, says:
Unions in the pulp and pape sector in the region, as well as IndustriALL, support Sutraprotisa's actions.
IndustriALL's CMPC trade union network has asked the Chilean multinational to establish official labour relations. However, if the company continues to show a lack of respect to our members, the network is prepared to adopt a more conflictive approach. We express our solidarity with our sisters and brothers of Sutraprotisa.