The 12 workers arrested for taking part in a protest action against the dismissal of their union reps in Nicaragua, have been sentenced to house arrest.
Last week, IndustriALL launched a campaign in support of 12 workers in Nicaragua to be unconditionally released. The workers had been arrested and charged with "obstructing the police", after a spontaneous protest erupted in an export processing zone in Tipitapa when the factory fired the union reps after they raised concerns.
Around 4,000 signed a letter to the government of Nicaragua and to the Korean garment manufacturer SAE A Tecnotex, asking for the workers to be unconditionally released. Many unions sent letters of protest to their local Nicaraguan embassies.
However, on 16 December the 12 workers were sentenced: the union leaders to two years, the others to one-year house arrest. All of them have their political rights suspended and cannot leave the country. They cannot work and lose their current employment.
Criminalizing a labour protest in this way sets a very serious precedent.
All 12 workers are going to appeal the sentence on 9 January 2017.