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Desperate fight for recognition of workplace accident

28 August, 2014For the last 13 years, distressed Colombian worker Rubén Montoya has been battling with Sura Insurance Company and Tenaris Tubo Caribe to get a pension and other benefits following a workplace accident. On 23 August, Ruben Montoya again tried to commit suicide.

In July 2002, when working for a contractor in the Tenaris Tubos Caribe plant, a 13” tube pierced Rubén Darío Montoya Obando from side to side. Since then, he has been fighting for compensation for this serious workplace accident.

A court has ordered Rubén’s reinstatement, a payout of salaries since the day of the accident, as well as a partial pension. But Tenaris – Tubos Caribe and the insurance company have appealed the court decision to pay past wages and grant a pension, a move that will postpone a solution for months.

With the support of Sintratucar, the trade union at Tubo Caribe, Rubén last week presented new documentation to the insurance company and the employer. Again, this did not lead to any results. And on 23 August Rubén for a second time tried to commit suicide, demanding the recognition of his rights.

Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union join forces with affiliated trade unions and calls on Tenaris to pay disability pension and provide health insurance:

It is an absolute disgrace that Tenaris Tubo Caribe has not yet complied with a court decision clearly demanding that the company compensate, including a disability pension and health insurance. Workers should not end up killing themselves out of sheer desperation due to the company’s flagrant violation of basic workers’ rights.