El Salvador: LafargeHolcim hinders and attacks the union

17 April 2019 10:37

In June 2018, at the Holcim El Salvador plant in Metapán in the north of El Salvador, eight leaders from the first Board of Directors of SICCA [Union for the Cement Industry and Allied Workers] were dismissed the day after having presented the union to the Ministry of Labour.

Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) visited El Salvador on 26 March, when it was able to verify the anti-union treatment that the cement corporation LafargeHolcim applies to its workers in the Central American country. From mid-2018 when the workers decided to form a union, initially with 37 members, the company began its attacks and dismissed eight of the 11 members of the Board of Directors, citing ‘restructuring’.

The nascent SICCA was formally registered as a union organisation with the labour authorities of the Ministry of Labour in June 2018; the dismissed workers had not taken up their union positions. Dismissals of unionised and non-unionised workers have continued. In the week commencing 1 April, three days after the BWI visit, two more workers were laid off.

BWI has sent memos urging the company to employ the dismissed workers and to stop this aggressive policy against trade unionists, but the company has shown no willingness to amend its practices against its workers.

Representatives of BWI and its national union member, SOICSCES [Union for the Construction Industry and Allied Workers], supported SICCA at meetings in Metapán, in the capital San Salvador and at other meetings in the Ministry of Labour, denouncing these attacks and seeking the return of dismissed workers, respect for the union and job stability.