29 October, 2020After a strike which has lasted for 58 days, IndustriALL Colombian affilaite Sintracarbón and Cerrejón, owned by multinationals Glencore, BHP and Anglo American, are finally launching a series of meetings.
On October 18, a first meeting was held to explore how to establish a negotiating table between the two parties. On 22 October, they agreed to start a round of meetings to find a way to resolve the conflict.
“There has been some progress in the discussions, but the big differences are still there. But both parties want to continue to explore ways to reach an agreement that is needed by the workers, the region and the company.
“So these meetings will continue, because our union is willing to have a dialogue and the company has also showed interest. But the strike continues as the big differences remains,”
says Sintracarbón president Igor Díaz.
While the union is not willing to negotiate some of the issues, it is open to review others. They do consider that the company still intends to eliminate benefits established in the current collective agreement.
Regarding the shift change, “the shift of death” that Cerrejón wants to impose, Sintracarbón says that after looking into the details; they are convinced that it would affect the health, life and social fabric of the workers. Still, the union is open to discuss it with the company.
Cerrejón has published an official statement, highlighting its willingness to continue the meetings to overcome the differences.
IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches says:
"IndustriALL salutes the workers of Cerrejón who have been on strike for almost two months under the leadership of Sintracarbón,. The restoration of negotiations is a great achievement and we hope the parties reach a good agreement soon."