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Workers bring Electrolux Chile to a standstill to safeguard collective bargaining

12 August, 2021Chile's CTI unions 1 and 2 have halted production at CTI Tecno Industrial S.A., part of Electrolux Group, as the company is not complying with the collective employment agreement.

On 13 July, some 800 Electrolux workers rejected the company's latest collective bargaining proposal. Learning of the decision, the company informed union members that the hours spent during a work stoppage in June and at previously authorized union meetings would be deducted from their pay.

In response, the unions held a strike on 14 and 15 July and have since brought production plants and distribution centres to a standstill. Workers condemned the company's attitude after it delayed the start of the collective bargaining process, which should have run from October to December 2020, for almost a year.

Electrolux says that it postponed the process for several months because it was waiting for a response to its request for a reclassification of minimum services. During the same period, the company refused to meet with union leaders or to respond to the draft collective employment agreements submitted by the two unions.
The unions appealed to the regional employment inspectorate, which ruled that the formal collective bargaining process could not be put on hold because of an administrative request. The National Employment Directorate issued a final ruling on 11 March 2021, rejecting Electrolux's reclassification request.

"It is now more important than ever for national and international workers to show solidarity with the members of Electrolux unions 1 and 2 as they fight to safeguard their dignity and their right to collective bargaining and to strike. These rights have been undermined by the indifference and bad faith of company management,"

said an official union statement.

The unions have submitted a draft collective employment agreement that takes into consideration the impact that the current social and economic crisis has had on their daily lives. So far, the workers have not accepted any of the company's proposals, which they say do not meet their demands.

In addition, they say that company management acted inappropriately when it used informal channels to inform some workers of the terms and figures being discussed during the negotiations. It did this with the aim of creating a rift between unions leaders and members.

IndustriALL Global Union's regional secretary, Marino Vani, said:

"Electrolux’s actions are unfortunate. We hope the company will engage in good faith negotiations. The workers have union representatives and deserve to have a formal agreement based on respect and dignity.

“We stand with the workers, the unions and our affiliate Industrial Chile-CONSTRAMET, supporting their struggle and their actions to protect workers.”