On November 21, 2020 Luis Samán, General Secretary of the National Union of Workers of the Peruvian Breweries Backus and Johnson, received a dismissal letter from the company.
- The Peruvian subsidiary of AB InBev accused him of damaging the image of the company by pointing out the lack of health and safety measures provided for AB InBev Backus employees during the COVID-19 national emergency.
- During the pandemic, the union worked to negotiate measures to mitigate the economic impact to avoid the lay-off of workers, but when negotiations failed, AB InBev Backus attempted to force workers to sign individual agreements; as a result of the union’s campaign, no worker signed.
- On November 23, the union’s press secretary, Jhon Gutarra, received a five-day suspension for carrying out his responsibilities as a union representative.
National Union of Workers of the Peruvian Breweries Backus and Johnson General Secretary Luis Samán said: “I received five registered letters accusing me of having damaged the reputation of the company through publications on social networks. What I did was to report that safety protocols were not adopted by the company, and that is why hundreds of workers have been infected and five AB InBev Backus employees have died of COVID-19. The company asked me to retract, but I did not want to because everything I said was and is true.”
The IUF has written to Carlos Brito, CEO AB InBev , calling for the immediate reinstate of the dismissed union leaders, for the company to engage in good faith with the union on COVID-19 protocols and respect the union’s right to communicate with its members about these issues.