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Goodyear tire workers appeal for solidarity

IMF News, 24 February 2000

Anti-union Good Year Guatemala tire company is firing union leaders.

GUATEMALA: The Guatemalan metalworkers' federation, FETRAMEGUA, an IMF member, has appealed to the IMF for international solidarity with one of its affiliated unions, the GINSA Workers' Union (Sindicato de Trabajadores de GINSA - STGINSA).

GINSA, a company producing Good Year tires in Guatemala, is anti-union and quite merciless in its harsh treatment of workers, especially those who are trade union members. On February 15, two GINSA workers who are members of the union's Executive Committee were summarily dismissed, their contracts were revoked and they were refused any wage compensation. According to law, they should have had protection from such reprisals during the 27-month-long term they are serving on the union's Executive.

Government labour authorities, informed about this situation at GINSA, reprimanded the management, but to no avail. So far, in addition to the two union Executive members, 48 other workers at the plant have been fired, in contravention of the collective agreement, the country's labour laws and ILO conventions Nos. 87 and 98 - concerning freedom of association and the right to organise and bargain collectively - which Guatemala has ratified.

STGINSA says it wants all trade unions representing Good Year workers to know how they are being treated in Guatemala. The management is refusing any negotiation process, with the sole intention to eliminate all the hard-fought gains previously achieved by the union for the GINSA workers.

The IMF will be contacting all its affiliates organising Good Year workers, as well as the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM), to coordinate solidarity action at international level for the Guatemalan Good Year tire workers.