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Gerdau-Diaco worker who chained himself to factory gates wins a victory

18 July, 2013The action taken by a Gerdau worker in Colombia combined with national and international solidarity have led the company to agree to pay him health insurance for six years.

IndustriALL has already reported how a Gerdau worker in Colombia, Luis Cruz, chained himself to the factory gates after being dismissed, even though he had legal protection after suffering a workplace accident in 1994. Dismissal meant the loss of health benefits for himself and his family.

Luis Cruz was chained to the factory gates in Duitama for five days but has now ended his protest after reaching an agreement with the company.

Gerdau agreed to pay health insurance for him and his family for six years, triple the amount of compensation and accept that he can continue with legal action to seek recognition that his health problems resulted from a workplace accident. In addition, Gerdau withdrew the sanctions imposed on the union leadership.

Luis Cruz and the union are grateful for the solidarity shown by the international network. The Gerdau Workers’ World Council and IndustriALL Global Union wrote to the company to support Luis and denounce the dismissals that are taking place at Gerdau factories in Colombia.

IndustriALL welcomes the agreement and reiterates its solidarity with Gerdau workers and their trade union, Sintrametal, in the continuing struggle against the dismissals and the company’s anti-trade union attitude.