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Uruguay: Yazaki workers file harassment complaint

13 August, 2021IndustriALL’s affiliate in Uruguay, UNTMRA, is accusing Japanese auto component maker Yazaki's quality officer of workplace harassment and violence.

In June, UNTMRA's general committee called for immediate talks with Yazaki to discuss workplace harassment involving a senior manager and staff under his responsibility. The committee notified the Ministry of labour and social security (MTSS) and lodged a written complaint with the employment inspectorate, providing details of the harassment, and the verbal and gender-based violence.

Local union leader and member of UNTMRA's general committee Vanessa O'Neil, says:

"At a meeting with union leaders and ministry officials on 23 July, Yazaki said that the perpetrator would be removed from his position. However, he is still there, is still carrying out the same work and still has staff under his responsibility. This is despite the various complaints that have been made against him by several female workers – complaints that the company is well aware of."

The union raised the issue with the Secretariat for gender, equity and diversity within Uruguay's trade union federation PIT-CNTT, which condemned the situation. In a letter, it demanded full compliance with International Labour Organization Convention No. 190 on violence and harassment, ratified by Uruguay, and called for compliance with Act 19.580 on gender-based violence.

The gender committee of the union confederation took the complaint to its representative board. It undertook to keep monitoring the situation to ensure compliance with the complaints process.

Despite the solidarity shown by the union movement, the process is still ongoing and the workers at Yazaki have not yet received a response from MTSS or the company.

IndustriALL regional secretary, Marino Vani, said:

"We congratulate the women who took action to stop the violations and support their fight. We hope that Yazaki and the government are not working together and that their inaction does not lead to further harassment.

"We have an opportunity to develop an effective policy in line with domestic legislation and C190. We hope that the company will listen to UNTMRA's demands and will work to establish an agreement containing guidelines to prevent violence and rules for punishing perpetrators.”