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AkzoNobel Latin American trade union network builds joint demands

18 December, 2015The network of trade unions at Dutch chemicals and paint company AkzoNobel conducted a two-day activity on 30 November and 1 December in São Paulo, Brazil, including a social dialogue session with company management.

The AkzoNobel trade union network is a leading example of workers coordinating throughout a company’s operations. The network produces a printed magazine regularly and participants communicate electronically between meetings.

Trade unions participated from Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, and IndustriALL Global Union. Hosted by IndustriALL affiliate FEQUIMFAR, unions informed the network of current progress and problems at the company. IndustriALL presented a global panorama of the company’s operations, and of the industry as a whole.

The network conducted a plant visit in Mauá, São Paulo, and held a joint social dialogue session with AkzoNobel management. The network raised particularly the concerning on-going case of union busting at the company’s operations in Colombia, and a plant-level issues in Brazil and Argentina especially.

AkzoNobel’s Brazilian country director Francisco Varia led the discussions from the company side. He said:

“It is an enormous pleasure for to have this space to meet our trade union partners and interchange information. The trade union is not the enemy.”

IndustriALL Global Union Assistant General Secretary Kemal Özkan stated:

“This network is a standard setter. The participants now have good experience and understanding of the company’s operations throughout the Latin American continent. The network’s high level of coordination and organization is reflected in the respect it has from the company. IndustriALL will always support and celebrate this network.”