Jump to main content
IndustriALL logotype

Support Colombian glass workers in conflict with Owens Illinois

29 November, 2012Colombian glassworker union Sintravidricol is facing obstinate management negotiators in bargaining for a new collective agreement with Owens Illinois subsidiary Cristalería Peldar. Today’s meeting is unlikely to provide a positive result and the next step will be a strike ballot. Send your message to management here.

In accordance with Colombian labour law the Cristalería Peldar management was mandated to conduct negotiations with Sintravidricol, beginning on 13 November, in the Lancaster House Hotel in capital city Bogota.

Negotiations began encouragingly with both sides outlining the importance of open, respectful talks in a spirit of win-win for both sides of positive industrial relations. However, before the end of the opening day of talks, management negotiators attempted to kick out the union arbiters from national centre CUT from the negotiating table. This was in contradiction with Colombia’s labour law.

This set the tone for the company’s negotiating committee’s provocative, anti-union stance throughout the 16-day negotiations. There was no indication at all of any interest from the management side to resolve the labour conflict with Sintravidricol.

However the Sintravidricol negotiators Pablo Castaño, William Uribe, Alejandro Torres, Manuel Murcia, Mario Orjuela, and Manuel Alonso continued in accordance with the agreed timeline of talks until today, 29 November the final day for solution to be reached.

Any last opportunity for management to enter good faith talks must be taken before 2 December, as three legal options remain: prolonged talks for a period of 20 days where there is a common willingness to reach a settlement; a tribunal; strike.

Strike action is the likely next step. You can send your message here to the Peldar President Alvaro Suarez and Technical Vice-President Carlos Sanchez. Your message will also be sent to Sintravidricol.

A group of IndustriALL-affiliated trade unions initiated the formation of a global network at US-based glass packaging manufacturer Owens Illinois (O-I) on 22 October 2012. Sintravidricol and the United Steelworkers (USW) especially have a history of support and solidarity with each other as both unions face the same hostile employers.

Cristalería Peldar manufactures glass for general household tableware, beer glasses, blood transfusion bottles, flat glass, and window glass.

Parent company Owens Illinois is the world's largest glass container manufacturer and preferred partner for many of the world's leading food and beverage brands. With revenues of US$7.4 billion in 2011, the company is headquartered in Perrysburg, Ohio, USA, and employs more than 24,000 people at 81 plants in 21 countries (USA, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Hungary, Czech, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, China, Colombia, Brazil) (www.o-i.com).