Women workers are the backbone of Argentina’s brick industry

To mark Brick Family Month this August, the Union Workers of Bricks Industry of the Republic of Argentina (UOLRA) held an online meeting with women brick workers to discuss their current issues and present the efforts made by the union to advance gender equality. 

The meeting was attended by 30 women brick workers from the country’s capital and interior. UOLRA Secretary of the Interior Ana Lemos and Secretary of Gender Soledad Casals announced the creation of the union’s Gender Secretariat in 2019. They also said that, for the first time in UOLRA’s history, four women workers are members of the union’s National Directive Commission.  

"These are clear victories achieved through the militancy and commitment of the union’s brick women makers throughout the country," Casals said. 

Lemos also narrated the union’s training workshops for women brick workers, most of whom work from their homes in family ovens. “Our first challenge, when visiting the ovens, was to create awareness among our fellow women that they are legitimate workers who have rights, and not simply wives helping their husbands in their work. They are a crucial part, if not the backbone of the brick industry,” Lemos explained. 

UOLRA, a BWI affiliate, is a trade union characterized by its tireless work to recognize labour rights in an industry with a strong presence of migrant and informal workers. Efforts to eradicate child labour, promote health, gender and youth are some of the union’s core advocacies.