Colombia: Support miners striking against the 'death shift' at Cerrejón

In partnership with Sintracarbón and IndustriALL which represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors and is a force in global solidarity taking up the fight for better working conditions and trade union rights around the world.

The National Union of Coal Industry Workers (Sintracarbón) is involved in a bitter strike at the Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia, jointly owned by three multinational mining companies, Anglo American, BHP and Glencore. In February 2020, Sintracarbón, in good faith, withdrew its list of demands and suspended collective bargaining negotiations due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the current round of collective bargaining negotiations in July, the company has not responded to the union's bargaining proposals and has instead demanded concessions in acquired rights and benefits. On the second day of negotiations Cerrejón unilaterally announced a radical shift change roster, without consulting the union and in violation of Colombian law. The new shift roster, which workers call the 'death shift' will lead to the loss of 2,500 direct and indirect jobs, will require workers to work an additional 72 days a year for the same wage, will cause turmoil in workers' family lives - particularly those with family responsibilities - and will lead to an increase in fatigue and thus an increase in accidents. Cerrejón has boycotted the government labour ministry’s facilitation to end the strike, now in its fourth week.


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