Miners Await Company Response to Protest
News from Colombia |
on: Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Sintramienergetica, the Colombian mining and energy sector union has reported the creation of a new section in the northern La Guajira region. The 300 workers and subcontractors for Carbones Colombianos de Cerrejon initiated a peaceful protest at their poor working conditions and pay. They took action after a modest set of proposals to resolve poor food and wages, to shorten shifts that are currently 12 or more hours long, to improve social security and to improve transport to and from the mine, was rejected by the company. The company also refused to recognise the union.
The workers then occupied the installations of the mine, and the company has since cut off public services and prevented food and water from being delivered to the protestors. In this they were aided by local police and military forces who the union has accused of being used to “intimidate the strikers.” The union has also reported that the company has brought in scabs to restart production at the mine.
At the time of writing the protest had ended thanks to negotiations through the local work inspector. The worker’s union is now waiting for the company‘s response, which according to the law, ought to come within 5 days, or by the 11th October.