Jump to main content
IndustriALL logotype

Latin American pulp and paper unions launch cooperation project with Belgian federation

Read this article in:

11 May, 2023A delegation of Latin American pulp and paper unions affiliated to IndustriALL met, in Uruguay, with representatives of the Belgian ACV-CSC BIE federation, with a view to launching a trade union cooperation project for the sector. 

The event was held on 19 and 20 April in Montevideo, Uruguay. Leaders of trade union organisations from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru met with representatives of the ACV-CSC BIE federation from Belgium, to discuss the sector’s situation in the region, to present their concerns and to initiate talks on developing a cooperation project.

IndustriALL director for the pulp and paper sector, Tom Grinter, said at the opening of the event:

“The pulp and paper sector is a large and important sector. The idea of the meeting was to be able to plan a regional project for the coming years with support from Belgium. To achieve this, we convened a group of trade union leaders from Latin America who will be able to coordinate their work to strengthen trade union solidarity.”

Jan Franco of ACV-CSC BIE explained that international trade union solidarity is important to his federation and that is why they are working with the ITUC, BWI, UNI Global Union and IndustriALL Global Union. He said that their aim is to promote a project in Latin America and, to do so, he feels it is essential that they know about the interests and concerns of the region’s pulp and paper unions.

The participants engaged in a strategic discussion on how best to take advantage of the new partnership opportunity. They agreed to work together on a regional action plan to address various issues of interest to them, such as the need for companies to implement sustainable practices and to use natural resources responsibly. 

IndustriALL’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, Lucineide Varjão, said: 

“The aim of this working group will be to agree on a regional agenda with cross-cutting issues for all the countries, such as future trends that may affect the region, be it the supply of the resources needed for the activity, technological changes or shifts in consumer behaviour that may affect or alter the sector’s manufacturing objectives.”

The participants agreed that they will work as a project coordination group and that towards the end of the year they will convene a face-to-face meeting where they will establish the issues to be addressed with the project for the coming years. They also visited the CMPC Softys plant, where they toured the facilities, talked with company representatives and learned about the work with the local trade union.

IndustriALL’s regional secretary, Marino Vani, concluded: 

“The meeting was very productive and we were able to draw some good conclusions. This group is going to coordinate the work in the sector and the project with the Belgian unions over the coming years. We are going to build a common agenda that includes environmental issues, community issues and the results that the industry can deliver for our society. We have to think about how to improve on the sector’s production organisation and its industrial sustainability.”