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Workers rally in support of Rubén Darío Montoya Obando

17 March, 2014On 14 March workers of Tenaris – Tubos Caribe demonstrated in front of the plant and marched to the centre of Cartagena. The goal of the protest was to denounce the lack of action by Tenaris – Tubos Caribe and the private insurance company to solve Rubén Darío Montoya Obando's situation.

In July 2002, when working for a contractor in the Tenaris – Tubos Caribe plant, Rubén suffered an accident in the workplace. Since then, he has been fighting for compensation. A court has ordered Rubén’s reinstatement, a payout of salaries since the day of the accident, as well as a partial pension. But Tenaris – Tubos Caribe and the insurance company have appealed the court decision to pay past wages and grant a pension, a move that will postpone a solution for months. After going on a hunger strike in February, Rubén’s condition has deteriorated and he is now hospitalized.

In a show of support, workers of Tenaris-Tubos Caribe marched from the plant to Cartagena on 14 March. Rubén’s wife was present at the demonstration and shared the pains and difficulties they suffered since Rubén had a severe accident at the plant, twelve years ago.

Sintratucar, the trade union organizing workers at Tenaris – Tubos Caribe, demanded a real health and safety policy from Tenaris – Tubos Caribe that will stop workers from putting their health on the line or have suffer accidents, like Rubén. Sintratucar is affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union affiliate FETRAMICOL.

Walfredo Marrugo, president of Sintratucar, said:

"We won’t stop campaigning until Tenaris – Tubos Caribe resolves Rubén's situation, giving him the pension and health insurance he deserves. We demand a serious dialogue with the company that allows us to have a safe workplace with a health and safety program relevant to our jobs and our industry, and which is consistent with Colombian law."