Bolivia: The labor movement boosts the prohibition of outsourcing by law

An interview with Ángel Asturizaga
Bolivia's labor movement is taking an active role in the reforms furthered by the government of President Evo Morales, contributing proposals with the aim of achieving real and significant changes in the working conditions of the country's labor force. One of the most urgent reforms is including an outsourcing prohibition in labor legislation.

Ángel Asturizaga is executive secretary of the General Confederation of Factory Workers of Bolivia (CGTFB), an organization that includes the Mixed Union of Workers of Embotelladoras Bolivianas Unidas SA (Embol - Coca-Cola) among its members.

The Confederation is, in turn, a member of the Bolivian Central Federation of Workers (COB).

"Outsourcing is a modern form of slavery. We can't have first-rate and second-rate workers. That's unacceptable. All workers must enjoy the same rights."

In the framework of the 8th Regional Meeting of Beverage Unions, organized in Managua, Nicaragua, by 3F of Denmark and Rel-UITA (IUF Latin America), the Bolivian labor leader told SIREL that one of the most important issues for the labor movement right now is the passing of a new General Work Act.

"It's going to be one of the major issues discussed over the coming months. What we're saying is that this law must grant the Labor Ministry full enforcement powers. Our demand is that every resolution issued by the labor authorities must have binding force for employers," Asturizaga said.

Among the most pressing reforms, the executive secretary of CGTFB highlighted the prohibition of outsourcing by law.

There is a Supreme Decree currently in force that prohibits "any and all evasion of labor regulations and laws, be it through fraud, simulation, or any other means that result in the use of subcontracted, outsourced, externalized, contractual or other such employment for a company's own and regular tasks."

While this is a major step forward, we believe that it is not enough. We want to turn the decree's provisions into law, by including this prohibition in the new General Labor Act.

Outsourcing is a modern form of slavery. We can't have first-rate and second-rate workers. That's unacceptable. All workers must enjoy the same rights provided by law," Asturizaga said.

The union leader also highlighted the importance of the work of the Regional Meeting of Beverage Unions, as well as the need to improve communications and solidarity exchanges among union organizations.

"Our work plan includes promoting enhanced integration, communication, and experience sharing with national unions but also with international organizations that have a long history of struggle and are highly recognized, such as the IUF and FELATRAC."

"I hope that very soon we can establish a National Inter-Union Body and become the next IUF affiliates," Asturizaga concluded.

For the original text in Spanish please visit:
http://www.rel-uita.org/sindicatos/con_angel_asturizaga.htm