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Beerworkers Archive


Post date: 09/16/2015 - 12:15

Panama SABMiller unions defend the right to bargain collectively

On 27 July, the workers of National Brewery (SABMiller) called off the strike after 18 days of protest, during which the unions stoically endured the ravages of the transnational brewer and maintained their unity and mobilization capacity.

On 27 July, the workers of National Brewery (SABMiller) called off the strike after 18 days of protest, during which the unions stoically endured the ravages of the transnational brewer and maintained their unity and mobilization capacity.

A few hours after starting the arbitration process, leaders of the Industrial Union of the manufacture and sale of soft drinks, Beverages, Soda, Beer, Liquor and Similar (Sitrafcorebgascelis) and STICP traveled to Honduras, where they participated in the 15th Congress of Beverage Industry Workers Union of Honduras (STIBYS).

"After completing the strike on 27 July, we presented a formal request to the Ministry of Labour to initiate arbitration. We are expecting to convene in order to integrate the process,” Jaime Acevedo, Secretary of the Brewing Industry Workers Union of Panama (STICP), told the IUF Latin America region.

"Workers are very encouraged. For most of us it was the first time we went on strike and it was not easy. However, we understand that the unity and willingness to struggle is essential if we want to defend our rights and have better working conditions, "he added.

Acevedo said the two unions remain united and stronger than ever.

"We've learned that to achieve respect from these transnational companies, we must stick together. As in the following saying: 'Without struggle there is no victory,' and this is what we do, never give up," Acevedo said.

International solidarity

The overflow of solidarity with the workers on strike at SABMiller Panama was impressive.
A number of organizations, both national and international, mostly affiliated with the IUF responded to the call of solidarity. The issue also attracted the support of broad Panamanian population.

The international campaign promoted by the IUF triggered mass mailings sent to the company and government, demanding respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining.
"The international mobilization to support the strike leaves us an important legacy. We must keep in constant contact with our partners that carry our issues into the international arena and update them on the challenges we face, "stressed Alexander John, general secretary of Sitrafcorebgascelis.

On the eve of commencing arbitration, the union leader explained that the process will be accompanied by a constant social mobilization.

"We will demand that the arbitration process strictly adhere to national labor legislation. It will not be something that will be settled only between the four walls of an office.

We will accompany the process with a constant mobilization of National Brewery workers, "concluded John.

The original Spanish news is here: http://www.rel-uita.org/index.php/es/sindicatos/item/6756-sera-un-arbitr...