Colombia: Irregular workers remain unprotected from COVID-19

02 April 2020 06:29

The Colombian Association of Construction, Building Materials and Woodworkers (INTERGREMIAL) reported that Columbian workers are not equally protected and compensated by the government in the fight against COVID-19. 

INTERGREMIAL General Coordinator José López Posada said that while formal workers such as construction workers can rely on their collective agreements to protect their health, safety and incomes, majority of workers who work on weekly or daily earnings are vulnerable due to their irregular working relations with employers. 

(Photo: Juancho Torres - Anadolu Agency) 

The union also said that the food supplies provided by the Colombian Chamber of Construction (CAMACOL) to construction workers employed by its affiliates companies are not enough. Lopez again stressed that irregular workers will not benefit from such supplies. 

Nonetheless, INTERGREMIAL said that it will continue to negotiate with CAMACOL to ensure future joint actions based on the promotion of social dialogue and  sectoral cooperation.

A national lockdown has been declared by the Colombian authorities on March 25, and will last until 13 April. However, the Bogota City Hall has signified that it intends to extend the lockdown until June. 

"This is what workers feared the most, as  many working class families will starve to death if there are no guarantees of livelihood and subsidies from the government,” López said.