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Beerworkers Archive


Post date: 08/13/2014 - 12:47

Chile: Impending strike at Austral Brewery (Heineken) due to union busting and dismissals

Austral Brewery’s decision to dismiss six workers and impose a three-year collective agreement which has no support of the union has led to a strike ballot on July 31.

The strike would be launched after the end of the stage of “good offices" on Friday August 8 if there would be no change in the position of the company. The Rel interviewed Luis Mundaka, the secretary of the National Federation of the Heineken Holding - CCU.

"Last June, six workers who were active in the union work were sacked after the union refused to sign a collective agreement that the company tried to impose unilaterally” Mundaca said.

Austral Brewery’s decision to dismiss six workers and impose a three-year collective agreement which has no support of the union has led to a strike ballot on July 31.

The strike would be launched after the end of the stage of “good offices" on Friday August 8 if there would be no change in the position of the company. The Rel interviewed Luis Mundaka, the secretary of the National Federation of the Heineken Holding - CCU.

"Last June, six workers who were active in the union work were sacked after the union refused to sign a collective agreement that the company tried to impose unilaterally” Mundaca said.

The General Labour Inspectorate ordered reinstatement of workers considering that the dismissals were driven by “anti-union grounds “. The Austral Brewery complied so far, after being observed by labor authorities on three occasions, but decided to leave these 6 workers out of the benefits of the Collective Agreement. "That was the trigger of the current conflict, though not the only," said the leader.

Wage discrimination

Mundaka also reported that the company has a policy of wage discrimination with respect to other Heineken Holding companies.

"In the Austral Brewery wages are up to 40 percent lower than the rest of the workforce who perform the same task in other plants in the group.

In addition, the company pays a lot less than the national minimum wage and workers do not have social benefits like the other workers in other factories in Chile get by convention "he said.

It is also known that the Chilean labor law is very lax with employers, so that the Union and the Federation “are calling for international solidarity.”

“We will launch a campaign in support of fellow workers employed by Austral Brewery aiming at putting pressure on the company to agree on the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement, once the stage of good offices is complete.

And we know that we have the support of our international, the IUF and its sister organizations, "said Mundaka.

Interview with Luis Mundaca

Original story in Spanish is here: http://rel-uita.org/index.php/es/sindicatos/item/5271-inminente-huelga-e...