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Gerdau Workers’ Network unites for rights in Colombia

2 November, 2012See the new campaign leaflet of the Gerdau Workers’ World Council, one of the most active worker networks of IndustriALL affiliates, taking united action to defend the rights of Gerdau workers in Colombia.

Since arriving in Colombia, Gerdau has enriched itself at the expense of workers. First, they closed operations at Laminados Andinos and Sidelpa to move production to other plants. Then, they tried unsuccessfully to close Duitama. But, when they were forced to re-open, they hired only contracted out workers. Today in Duitama, there are 3 outsourced workers for each permanent worker.

They also intended to dismantle the Cota plant, which already has less than a third of the workers it had in 2010. Their latest move is the mass dismissal of workers in plants located in Muña and Tocancipá, and the firing of workers in Tuta.

Andre Gerdau has bought 80% of steel production capacity in Colombia. It now seems that his real interest is capturing Colombian market share, not creating jobs to improve the lives of workers or grow the Colombian industry. Now, the steel will come from Mexico or Brazil and be sold in Colombia. And Gerdau will become richer while Colombia and its workers become poorer.

The Gerdau Workers’ World Council defends the right to have a decent life and decent work in all countries where it represents workers. We will not fall for the company’s strategy to pit us against each other when their only goal is to improve profits at our expense. Gerdau speaks of "ethics" and "respect", but in practice we see the opposite.

Gerdau’s workers around the world demand respect for Gerdau workers in Colombia.