Amid a total lockdown, that started on 16 March and has been extended until 26 April, most of Peru’s 12 million informal workers are vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic due to the lack of government assistance.
“The problem is that informal workers require daily resources for survival. People cannot stop going out to work, although it may mean more people will become infected," said Luis Garcia, Deputy General Secretary of SITRAFAPESA.
Workers represented by BWI affiliates in Peru are among the said that there are only about 5 million workers that are with job and income security at this time. Workers covered by collective bargaining agreements in Peru’s construction, materials and industrial plants have reportedly secured their jobs and full wages. SITRAFAPESA, SITRACESANLO, FETRACEPPE, and SUTFACAP all said that they have successfully negotiated for temporary work stoppages while keeping the rights and benefits of their members under their CBAs intact.
However, informal workers in the construction sector have fared less well; most have been dismissed and are without wages during the shutdown. BWI affiliates reports that the Federation of Civil Construction Workers (FTCCP) is currently negotiating with the Chamber of Employers (CAPECO) to provide each dismissed construction worker with financial assistance of PEN 380, which is equivalent to USD 100.