G4S union in Peru achieves the signing of an agreement in the midst of the pandemic
The G4S Union in Peru, SINTRAG4SPERU, has reached an unprecedented agreement in a context that has been very difficult for workers in the sector, and who have been demanding protection and health and safety at work since the beginning of the health crisis. In this context, the SINTRAG4SPERU negotiating committee, together with the representatives of the G4S Peru SAC company, signed an agreement on May with several benefits for the workers.
"The signing of the collective agreement was very important for us after working on this relentlessly for two years. Fortunately, thanks to our struggle, we were able to achieve our objective" said Guillermo Nieto, president of SINTRAG4S Peru.
Economic benefits for workers include receiving a bonus of 150 soles to aid with their children's schooling, the sum of 2,500 soles as a death payment for the spouse and/or children or for the family in case of worker's death. A loan for workers’ who have experienced the death of a family member will also be granted for the same amount, to be paid in 12 interest-free instalments, among other benefits. Union members may also now request time off to visit the doctor and then return to work, and will receive 10 days of paid leave for the birth of a child.
"Every union member has been given a bonus of USD 300 and other benefits that we have achieved with the unity, strength, and support of all the workers and UNI. We greatly appreciate the unconditional support received from UNI Americas" Nieto stated.
Marvin Largaespada, Regional Director of UNI Americas Property Services, said: "Finally, the constant work of SINTRAG4S Peru union has been recognized. The union has shownthat organizing workers leads to achieving many benefits and claiming essential rights. This has been fundamental regarding health and safety at work, achieving a bonus in cases of accidents or money for transportation if the worker needs to go to a health care facility".
"It is also very important that affiliated workers can participate with equal conditions in the internal promotions process, and will be granted 1,200 hours of shared union leave. The union obtained the benefit of 880 soles for every affiliated worker at the closing of the terms and conditions, and 27.000 soles (around 7000 usd ) for the union as support for management duties. We believe that this is a victory and a recognition to the work conducted by SINTRAG4S", he concluded.
The journey has not been easy. In January 2020, the union began negotiations with the company, presenting a fromal list of demands. However, the G4S Peru SAC company did not recognize the Negotiating Committee made up of union leaders and affiliates, so it was not possible to negotiate directly (Trato Directo). The union requested the intervention of the Ministry of Labour, ordering the beginning of the “extra-process” stage, which was was rejected by the company, which again refused to recognize the Negotiating Committee. The union sought to solve this labour dispute through dialogue; UNI Americas mediated to support the union organization, resulting in the recognition of the Negotiating Committee and the eventual signing of the union’s second collective bargaining agreement
In April 2020, around 500 workers were issued ‘perfect suspension’ (Suspensión Perfecta) for 81 days without no salary. This was declared "inadmissible” by resolution of the Ministry of Labour, buthe company has started legal proceedings, a measure that harms workers by refusing to comply with the resolution of inadmissibility, which would require the retroactive reimbursement of salaries not paid to SINTRAG4S workers.