Victory in Colombia: SINTRAVALORES signs agreement with Prosegur
Workers in Colombia scored an important victory today after an agreement was reached between SINTRAVALORES and Spanish security multinational Prosegur after almost seven years of serious conflict.
Through a new collective bargaining agreement between SINTRAVLORES and Prosegur, the union achieved significant improvements in working conditions and took concrete steps towards the labour peace that workers deserve. The agreement resolves all pending lawsuits against individual union leaders and activists. It also compensates workers for a long-standing dispute over Prosegur’s “pacto colectivos”, which paid bonuses to non-union workers. Although the current pacto colectivo will remain in place, there will no longer be a financial incentive to being non-union and, in fact, the collective agreement has superior provisions. There are also improved conditions for temporary workers, who are now eligible to join the union. Finally, a Labour Committee will be created to prevent constant litigation of labour disputes, in order to open a space for dialogue between the company and the workers when any kind of disagreements arise.
This victory is the result of many years of struggles and complaints about violations of human rights by Prosegur, including moments of great concern for the physical safety of workers and their families in Colombia who were persecuted for being union members in a country where freedom of association is constantly threatened.
UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings said, “Colombia is one of the most difficult places in the world to be a trade unionist and we congratulate the workers of SINTRAVALORES for the strength and dignity they have shown throughout their long struggle“
"Through this settlement, Prosegur has taken an important first step towards ending its anti-union practices in Colombia. It will take a lot of hard work to put right the damage the company has caused to trade unions in the region but we hope this agreement can be a foundation for normalising relationships. This agreement also has the potential to set the stage for comprehensive discussions between Prosegur and UNI Global Union about how we can avoid these kinds of situations in future.”
Fidel Hugo Alfonso, president of SINTRAVALORES, one of the pillars to achieve this agreement said, "I am highly satisfied, both personally and as a leader. Two months ago we thought this was unattainable, and what UNI did globally was very important.”
Daniel Martinez, vice president of SINTRAVALORES, said “This has ushered in labour peace; something we have been waiting for years, and it was reached thanks to our union leaders' tenacity and to our federation, UNI Global Union, whose presence and tireless work resulted in this great achievement."
Adriana Rosenzvaig, Regional Secretary of UNI Americas, welcomed the victory. "We hope this victory opens the door for solving other serious problems we have in the region, like in Paraguay, Chile and Peru" she said.
"We continue to firmly believe that social dialogue is the path, and therefore we will persist in demanding that Prosegur signs a Global Framework Agreement".