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Miners at Glencore Peru demand better working conditions

17 August, 2022Over 1,000 workers at Glencore-controlled mining firm Los Quenuales are taking action to press the company to respect outsourcing limitations and collective bargaining rights, provide better food and to comply with occupational health and safety requirements.

Members of the FNTMMSP, affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, staged a strike and a march to press the company, owned by multinational Glencore, to comply with the latest government decrees.

Decree DS-001-2002-TR establishes that companies should not outsource specialised activities, that is, those linked to the firm’s  core business. Meanwhile, Decree DS-014-2022-TR amends the Regulation of the Law on Collective Labour Relations, based on changes in the articles referring to the right to unionise, union disputes, union registration, collective bargaining and other changes benefiting workers.

On 15 August, the workers met with officials from the Labour and Employment Promotion Ministry, and also requested a meeting with President Pedro Castillo Terrones, to raise their grievances with him.

The miners say that Los Quenuales is ignoring their demands and is even threatening them with a “perfect work suspension” (a mechanism that allows the employer to suspend payment of the employees’ monthly wages without breaking the employment relationship) and collective dismissals, although the workers are simply calling for compliance with the new rules set out in the latest decrees.

“We, the FNTMMSP, warn the government: we will not allow the mining business to abuse our rights. We say ‘no’ to perfect suspensions and collective dismissals in retaliation for demanding compliance with the law. (...) We hope that you will receive a delegation of mine workers, without delay, to address the issues that have, so far, been neglected,”

the federation said in a statement.

The union called for better working conditions, like an improvement in the quality of the food provided and compliance with occupational health and safety requirements in the mining camps.

IndustriALL’s regional secretary, Marino Vani, says:

“We hope the company will stop the threats and engage in negotiations in good faith, providing concrete proposals in response to the workers’ legitimate demands.

"We call on the state and the government to ensure dialogue prevails and that an agreement is reached to ensure compliance with the law, better working conditions and the resolution of the dispute. The workers and the mining federation have our full support.”