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Drummond wages anti-union campaign in Colombia

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20 May, 2019Drummond Ltd Colombia is waging an anti-union campaign against Asociación Sindical de Empleados de Drummond (ASED), a duly constituted trade union established in accordance with Colombia’s labour laws and regulations.

ASED has condemned Drummond, the country's second-largest coal mining company, for refusing to negotiate with the union concerning its list of demands. In addition to harassing union leaders and warning workers not to join the union, the firm has initiated special proceedings to try and disband the union, wrongly alleging that its members are "workers in positions of trust".

Furthermore, Drummond Ltd Colombia has fired union members and offered promotions to workers who leave the union. It has also held meetings with miners informing them that it will bring an end to ASED, and it has prevented the union from communicating with workers at the mine.

The refusal of Drummond Ltd Colombia to recognize a legitimately constituted trade union is a violation of ILO Convention 87, which guarantees freedom of association and protects the right to organize, and ILO Convention 98, which ensures the right to organize and collective bargaining.

General secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, Valter Sanches, wrote a letter to the CEO of Drummond Ltd Colombia, Mike Tracy, and to Colombia's Labour Minister, Alicia Victoria Arango Olmos, calling on them to ensure that Drummond Ltd Colombia complies with the country's laws.

He also urged the company to bring an end to its anti-union behaviour, recognize ASED and engage in good faith negotiations with the union.

Finally, IndustriALL called for intervention from Bettercoal, a global initiative to promote continuous improvement in the sustainability of the coal supply chain.