Dominican Republic: Workers take to the streets against attempt to cut social protection

Construction workers at demonstration on the 18th of July.

Construction workers in the Dominican Republic is fighting a legislative initiative that would cut their social security and leave thousands of retired workers without pension.

On the 18th of July workers organised a rally against the initiative that is promoted by the congressman Víctor Mencía from the national political party PLD. The initiative proposes to get rid of the current law 6-86 which allocates 1 per cent of the value of all public and private constructions projects to a common fund for social services for retired construction workers.

According to FENTICOMMC, a BWI affiliate, this would be a clear violation of the national law as well as the ILO Convention 102 on Social Security and ILO Convention 167 on Safety and Health in Construction. The legislative initiative intends to curtail construction workers' social security rights, "who since 1986, have been building a social protection regime according to international conventions that the Dominican nation has signed in matter of social security", according to Pedro Julio Alcántara, General Secretary of the National Federation of Construction, Wood and Building Materials Workers, FENTICOMMC.

The BWI is supporting the struggle to save the social security system in the Dominican Republic and have sent letters urging the government to act promptly in order to guarantee financial sustainability of the pension fund.