Police in Peru arrested five workers from SiderPeru Gerdau for participating in a 24-hour strike and a protest against the company’s reluctance to engage in productive collective bargaining
Police unjustly detained five workers in the early hours of 7 June during a mobilization at SiderPerú, which has been part of Gerdau since 2006. Two of the workers were released immediately, while the other three were held during the night.
The march began in the center of the city of Chimbote and culminated in front of the office of the regional Ministry of Labour, where demonstrators asked that SiderPeru Gerdau negotiate in good faith.
The SiderPerú Employees' Union (which belongs to the Mining Federation, affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union in Peru) also denounced Gerdau's anti-labor policy:
"In 2016 and 2017, the anti-labor policy from Gerdau Corporation has increased against those who defend their rights, mostly union affiliates and their leaders"
said the Union in a public statement, and then reported that they already had 180 dismissals.
The Gerdau World Workers' Committee held a meeting in May in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where they approved an action plan and visited, for the first time in four years, one of Gerdau's plants in Ouro Branco.
The Committee interpreted the visit and subsequent meeting with the authorities of the company as a positive sign, meaning there is progress in their demand for Gerdau to recognize them and work together to address the workers concerns.
"IndustriALL and the Gerdau World Union Committee re-emphasize the need of Gerdau to finally recognize the Committee and together seek solutions to conflicts, such as in SiderPeru."
stated IndustriALL base metals director Adam Lee.