Published: 11/12/2017

Affiliates at the IUF Latin America regional dairy conference hosted by ATILRA in Sunchales Argentina, called for more action in the defense of political and economic rights as the continent suffers at the hands of a mix of authoritarian regimes and ‘business friendly’ democracies.

Unions resolved to provide all practical solidarity to members in Honduras fighting within a broad civil society coalition against electoral fraud and a stolen general election.

The introduction of ‘labour market reforms’ in Brazil are designed to weaken unions and lower labour costs. The Argentinian Government has introduced plans to limit the amount of severance payments and to reduce employer contributions to social security.

Workers in rural communities face higher incidences of cancer due to the widespread application of agro-toxins such as paraquat and glyphosate. A healthy and safe workplace is only guaranteed by renewing and intensifying the fight for democratic rights.

Affiliates described how rights can be won and gains made in difficult circumstances. Unions from Panama, Peru, Paraguay, Colombia and Chile described how their affiliation to the IUF made it possible to organize independently and to bargain collectively with TNC’s, in particular Nestlé, Fonterra and Lactalis.

Affiliates also urged the IUF to work on strengthening the dairy division by promoting the rights of dairy farm workers, many of whom are drawn from vulnerable migrant communities.