Jump to main content
IndustriALL logotype

Laboratorios SMA SAC in Peru intensifies union busting

23 March, 2023Peru-based company Laboratorios SMA SAC has sent a pre-termination notice to its union’s general secretary. In response, IndustriALL is calling on the company’s multinational buyers to intervene to stop the union busting, retract the pre-termination notice and negotiate in good faith to resolve outstanding issues.

The national union of Laboratorios Smasac workers, part of Peru’s federation of manufacturing and allied workers (FETRIMAP-CGTP), affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, has faced continued anti-union discrimination since it was formed in April 2022.

Recently, a pre-termination notice was sent to the general secretary, Flor de María Aranda Surichaqui, on the basis of false claims of gross misconduct.

Laboratorios SMA SAC, a Peruvian company specializing in the manufacture of cosmetics and other personal care and household hygiene products, alleges that Aranda Surichaqui misled union members about his discussions with the company.

The company says the union leader told members that there would be no repercussions if they took part in the general strike called by the General Confederation of Peruvian Workers (CGTP) on 9 February. 

“That’s nonsense. The company made it perfectly clear that workers would lose a day's pay if they decided to go on strike, and they chose to do it anyway,"

says Tom Grinter, IndustriALL chemicals sector director.

“The real reason for threatening dismissal is clear: the company is seeking revenge because the union has brought national and international attention to its labour practices. The notice came just one week after multinational buyers carried out a due diligence audit, in which they asked questions about management-union relations, and just days after an inspection by Peru's national labour inspectorate.”

One of Laboratorios SMA SAC's main international buyers is Unilever. The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company has a memorandum of understanding with IndustriALL that ensures compliance with trade union rights and recognizes IndustriALL as an internationally representative organization. IndustriALL has informed Unilever about the situation in Peru, and Unilever is now conducting due diligence.

FETRIMAP-CGTP says the threat to dismiss the union leader is the latest in a long series of labour rights violations, which have included anti-union discrimination, interference in the running of the union and refusal to negotiate in good faith.

According to FETRIMAP-CGTP, Laboratorios SMA SAC uses temporary contracts to avoid employing workers on regular contracts, thereby denying them their fundamental rights, including the right to freedom of association. It has also violated their fundamental rights relating to health and safety in the workplace, particularly their right to know about workplace hazards and obtain relevant training and education.