5 – No guarantee of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Guatemala

The ITUC affiliates in Guatemala are the Central General de Trabajadores de Guatemala (CGTG), the Confederación de Unidad Sindical de Guatemala (CUSG) and the Unión Sindical de Trabajadores de Guatemala (UNSITRAGUA).

In practice

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Union leader assassinated13-07-2016

The ITUC condemned the assassination of trade unionist Brenda Marleni Estrada Tambiento that took place on 19 June 2016. Brenda was the deputy coordinator of the Legal Advice Commission of the Unión Sindical de Trabajadores de Guatemala (UNSITRAGUA-HISTORICA), affiliated to the ITUC. She was also a member of the Guatemalan Organisers’ Group and of the Continental Legal Team of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA). The trade unionist was followed on the way back from the bus station, where she had left her father, trade union leader Jorge Estrada y Estrada, who is assisting with the negotiation of collective agreements in one of the banana plantations in the department of Izabal.

Union leader threatened and persecuted30-05-2016

On 20 January 2015, Benedicto Vicente Ordoñez, general secretary of the municipal workers’ union in Santa Barbara, in Suchitepéquez, filed a report to the Special Investigation Unit for Crimes against Trade Unionists concerning the acts of persecution, threats and harassments he was suffering on account of his trade union activities. He had been pursued by unknown assailants on several occasions and could not rule out that the persecution might stem from the municipal corporation, prompting him to request that the mayor of the Municipal Council be investigated, given that one of the latter’s close relatives had commented, in menacing tones, that the only way to be able to work freely in the municipality would be by making the trade union leader disappear and eliminating him.

Unfair dismissals at La Tinta Municipality in Alta Verapaz20-06-2015

On 31 December 2010, 12 workers, member of the Executive Committee of the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Municipalidad de Santa Catalina la Tinta were dismissed on the spot, without justification and without prior authorisation from the relevant judge, despite the protection established by law for trade union representatives. Almost five years later, in February 2015, the municipality committed, before the Court of First Instance for Labour, Social Security and Economic Matters, in Coban, Alta Verapaz, to reinstate all the workers to their posts. It fulfilled this commitment.
However, on 29 May 2015, the 12 workers were once again dismissed, on the pretext that the municipality did not have the financial resources to continue paying their wages. On 6 June 2015, 10 of the dismissed workers were reinstated, being legally protected against removal from their posts, but the two others were not reinstated, on the basis that, as the municipality argued, there was no legal regulation or court order obliging it to do so. The 12 workers are still owed the wages and benefits withdrawn at the beginning of the dispute.
The municipal authority repeated the same repressive action with another 23 unionised workers, who it fired on the spot, on 31 January 2012, without justification and without the prior authorisation required from the relevant judge given that the municipality was involved in a collective dispute collective dispute See industrial dispute and the workers were trade union members. On 19 February 2015, the municipal council reinstated the 23 workers to the same posts, in compliance with the relevant court order, but dismissed them once again in May 2015, on the same pretext that it did not have the resources to pay their wages. To date, the workers have not yet been reinstated.

Anti-union response to labour dispute – Jalapa Municipality30-07-2015

The dispute began in May 2012 with the dismissal of 260 workers, who were reinstated, on 7 December 2012, thanks to pressure from the international trade union movement, although in 2015 they were still awaiting payment of the wages lost.
On 30 October 2014, during a meeting held in the office of Labour Minister Carlos Contreras to find a solution to the dispute, the mayor of the municipality, Elmer Leónidas Guerra Calderón, committed to signing the relevant paperwork that afternoon on his return. That same afternoon, another 180 workers were fired. The corresponding requests for their reinstatement were presented, but the mayor refused to take the workers back, blatantly disregarding the order issued by the labour court.
In July 2015, Mario Ramiro Pérez Guerra, an independent mediator for the Committee for the Settlement of Disputes in the area of Freedom of Association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
and Collective Bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
, invited members of the trade union to agree to the office’s mediation mediation A process halfway between conciliation and arbitration, in mediation a neutral third party assists the disputing parties in reaching a settlement to an industrial dispute by suggesting possible, non-binding solutions.

See arbitration, conciliation
to seek alternative solutions. A commission was established, which held four meetings, but the mayor, in spite of his stated intentions, is continuing to stall the situation and to disregard the workers’ rights.

Guatemalan Olympic Committee refuses to recognise union30-07-2015

In December 2013, employees of the Guatemalan Olympic Committee (COG) formed a union, the Sindicato de Trabajadores del Comité Olímpico Guatemalteco. During 2013, a collective agreement was negotiated and approved by the Labour Ministry, in line with the national and international labour laws in force.
After exhausting all administrative remedies, a case was filed with the labour court, calling for the reinstatement of the dismissed workers. The procedure has not moved forward, however, due to the stalling tactics deployed by the COG authorities. On 5 March 2014, a report was filed with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which, on 21 July 2015 (a year and three months later), finally brought charges of discrimination and coercion against the COG, having established that the dismissed trade unionists had suffered psychological and economic damage. Representatives of the COG stated that they would not negotiate with the current trade union members and would wait for the court order regarding the reinstatement of the workers dismissed.
In July 2015, despite negotiations and legal proceedings being underway, the COG dismissed more union members, continuing with its repressive attitude and disregard for freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
. It also threatened to sack all the workers unless they left the union.

Criminal charges and strategies to discredit trade union organisations26-07-2015

On 26 July 2015, the Minister of Public Health and Social Assistance at the time, Luis Enrique Monterroso de León, filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office against the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Salud de Guatemala (SNTSG) and the former Health Minister, Jorge Villavicencio, accusing them of illicit enrichment, fraud and extortion.
The accusations are linked to the signing of the 2013-2015 collective agreement between the parties. According to Monterroso, Villavicencio and the trade union leaders had committed various offences by signing an agreement that runs counter to the interests of the Health Ministry. Monterroso also denounced that the trade union leaders, under threat of bringing the national health system to a standstill, were demanding the reinstatement of 28 workers removed from their posts for administrative offences; and that they exerted pressure to expedite the payment of trade union leaders’ travel expenses, as well as for the signature of a derogation from Ministerial Agreement 136-2015 on internal controls or auditing units.
These criminal charges are part of a growing campaign to discredit the trade union movement in general and public sector unions in particular, a campaign actively supported by spokespersons from the state and business sectors and well as the media. All of this was taking place against the background of a serious crisis in the national hospital system. The day after the accusations were filed, the Guatemalan College of Physicians and Surgeons called for Monterroso’s removal from office, blaming him for the hospital crisis and other anomalies, and for the case to be transferred to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to determine the civil and criminal liabilities.
The legal action, in addition to its gravity, represents a clear violation of Article 3 of ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
Convention 87. The Health Minister was attempting to use to the criminal justice system to oppose and neutralise the trade union. It is unheard of that a national authority should take legal action against a former government minister and trade union leaders over the content of a collective agreement signed years before.

Dismissals at the Livingston Municipality, in Izabal30-08-2015

In January 2012, the Municipality of Livingston, despite being in the midst of a collective dispute collective dispute See industrial dispute and having received strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
notice, dismissed 41 unionised workers, without following the legal procedures, based on the Labour Code, regulating the termination of a contract or employment relationship.
On 28 January 2014, the Constitutional Court accepted the request for protection and ordered that the 41 workers should be immediately reinstated. On 29 October 2014, the municipality implemented the ruling of the Labour and Social Security Court of First Instance, ordering it to reinstate the workers to the same posts, with the same wages and duties. However, on 4 November 2014, they were dismissed once again, due to “administrative restructuring”, according to the municipal authority. Between 4 and 16 March 2015, 38 workers were reinstated, in line with a new court order, but in August 2015, the workers had not been allocated duties and had not been paid their wages.
The workers are protesting in front of the municipal building to press for respect for their rights.

Impunity surrounding anti-union violence30-08-2015

Guatemala’s independent trade union movement underlined the failure to ensure respect for Convention 87 on freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
and protection of the right to organise, pointing out that the right to organise freely and to conduct the routine trade union activities are violated on a daily basis. During 2015, the state authorities stepped up their repressive, illegal and unconstitutional acts against trade unions and their leaders.
After much insistence, trade union organisations succeeded in securing a formal commitment from the national authorities to investigate the murders of 74 trade unionists, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation procedure. Responding to trade union pressure for information regarding the state of the investigations, in August 2015 a report was sent mentioning only three cases under investigation. In one of the cases, it was indicated that sentence had been passed via a summary procedure, with no reference to the nature of the sentence or the crime, to the person sentenced or any other details clarifying the matter. With regard to the other cases, the report stated that a trial would be opened for one and statements would be taken for the other.

ILO complaints against the government of Guatemala30-09-2015

On 30 September 2015, the Guatemalan labour, indigenous and campesino movement, MSICG, submitted a report to the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
) regarding the Guatemalan state’s failure to comply with Convention 87. The report highlights the impunity surrounding the murder of its leader, Manuel de Jesús Ramírez, who was killed on account of his trade union activities, as acknowledged to the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
by the Guatemalan government. The leader of the MSICG was employed by the Public Criminal Defence Institute, which at the time of his murder was headed by the Supreme Court judge Blanca Aida Stalling Dávila.

The MSICG also referred in its report, among other abuses, to the Labour and Social Security Ministry’s systematic refusal to register trade union organisations.

Unfair dismissals at Mi Tierra farm in Suchitepéquez 28-02-2016

The farm workers’ union Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Finca Mi Tierra, Sociedad Anónima, denounced Mi Tierra for repeated labour rights violations, such as anti-union reprisals, the payment of salaries below the minimum wage, social security deductions not paid into the system, harassment, unreasonable increase in the workload and its refusal to respect statutory labour rights such as holiday pay, days off and the extra month’s pay due at Christmas and in July.
Between 1999 and 2015 there has been a long series of hearings, proceedings for the protection of constitutional rights, compulsory arbitration arbitration A means of resolving disputes outside the courts through the involvement of a neutral third party, which can either be a single arbitrator or an arbitration board. In non-binding arbitration, the disputing parties are free to reject the third party’s recommendation, whilst in binding arbitration they are bound by its decision. Compulsory arbitration denotes the process where arbitration is not voluntarily entered into by the parties, but is prescribed by law or decided by the authorities.

See conciliation, mediation
, cross claims and appeals. On 6 April 2015, the Court of Arbitration arbitration A means of resolving disputes outside the courts through the involvement of a neutral third party, which can either be a single arbitrator or an arbitration board. In non-binding arbitration, the disputing parties are free to reject the third party’s recommendation, whilst in binding arbitration they are bound by its decision. Compulsory arbitration denotes the process where arbitration is not voluntarily entered into by the parties, but is prescribed by law or decided by the authorities.

See conciliation, mediation
ruled it had jurisdiction to handle the dispute. At least four hearings were held with the parties to the dispute between 22 and 29 April 2015. On 29 April, a decision was issued restoring the workers’ rights. On 10 May, however, the company’s legal representative filed an appeal against the decision. On 15 July 2015, the Fourth Chamber of the Labour and Social Security Court of Appeal of Suchitepéquez ruled that the appeal was inadmissible. On 21 August 2015, the case was re-submitted to the original court. According to the trade union’s complaint, by February 2016, the company had still not complied with any aspect of the court ruling.
As regards the 29 unionised workers unfairly dismissed, they were reinstated on 25 March 2015 but in August 2015 the company had not assigned them with tasks and had not settled the unpaid wages owed from the time of their dismissal up until their reinstatement.

Violations of the right to life and integrity31-03-2015

In August 2014, workers were physically assaulted and threatened by their employers within the context of a dispute over the failure to settle outstanding payments and the unfair dismissal of a number of workers at Plantaciones de Café el Ferrol, la Florida y Santa Elena (FEFLOSA S.A.). The General Labour Inspectorate subsequently accused the workers of trying to extort money from the company. On 7 August 2014, the workers filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office. By March 2015, they had still not received any notification regarding the investigations. On 30 September 2014, the company’s legal representative signed a document drawn up by the Labour Ministry, whereby it committed to settling the outstanding payments. At the end of October, only a portion of the amounts owed had been paid. This desperate situation led one of the workers to exercise his right “to resistance for the protection and defence of constitutional rights and guarantees”, occupying a shed on the plantation. The employer responded by refusing to pay the sums still owed to the workers as a whole and tried to forcefully remove the worker and his family. Whilst doing so, he ran over the worker’s wife, leaving her seriously injured.

Three members of the Jalapa municipal workers’ union Sindicato de Trabajadores Municipales de Jalapa were shot dead between 25 March and 8 April 2014. They had been campaigning to press the municipal authority to pay the seven months’ wages owed to them after being reinstated to their posts.

Gabriel Enrique Ciramagua Ruiz, organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. secretary of the Zacapa municipal workers’ union Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Municipalidad de Zacapa (SITRAMUZAC), was killed on 7 July 2014. Joaquín Chiroy y Chiroy, founder and deputy general secretary of the market workers’ union Sindicato Gremial de Vendedores y Similares del Mercado Municipal de Sololá was murdered by unknown assailants two hundred metres away from his home, at 4.30 a.m. on 28 June 2014. On 21 July, a request was made to the District Public Prosecution Service of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the department of Sololá to investigate the incident. The file is currently in the hands of the Public Prosecution Service, under case number MP086-2014-1528. There have been no results from the investigation to date.

Violations in the banana plantations30-12-2014

The banana plantation areas in the north and south of Guatemala have been the scene of serious labour and trade union rights violations as well as attacks on the physical integrity of their workers for several years. In 2013 and 2014, Guatemala was the world’s second largest banana exporter, generating huge profits for the companies in the sector. The workers, however, earn around US$ 12.9 for a 12 hour working day, without health or social security coverage. It has proved impossible to form trade union organisations in the southern region owing to the violence and the threats received. In the north, the workers formed SITRABI. This union has managed to survive in spite of the violence suffered by its members and families and the companies’ constant violations of collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
rights.

Anti-union dismissals in Purulhá17-02-2016

On 17 Februay 2016, following the arrival of the new mayor, Sebastián Castro García, the municipal authorities of Purulhá, in the Baja Verpaz department, proceeded to unfairly dismiss 106 workers, including members of the union and its Executive Board, ignoring the legal protection covering union leaders.

Anti-union dismissals in San Rafael12-02-2016

On 12 February 2016, following the arrival of the new mayor, Carlos Alfonso Mazariegos Ramírez, the municipal authorities of San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta in the San Marcos department unfairly dismissed 15 workers, including the union’s Social Welfare Secretary.

Anti-union dismissals at Palo Gordo sugar mill25-11-2015

The Palo Gordo sugar mill in Guatemala has launched a series of selective dismissals targeting unionised workers, undermining the trade union organisation and the collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
agreement. The dismissals were staged as follows: 10 workers were dismissed on 28 February 2015, 10 more on 15 October 2015, another five on 6 November 2015 and 10 more on 20 November 2015. Membership of the trade union at the company, the Sindicato de Trabajadores del Ingenio Palo Gordo, fell from 283 to just 203 in November 2015. The company is waging a campaign to stop workers from joining the union and has set up a subdivision to block trade union action.

Trade unionist from Japala assassinated20-10-2015

On 24 September 2015, trade unionist Mynor Rolando Ramos Castillo, a member of the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Municipalidad de Jalapa (SITRAMJ), was murdered. The municipal worker had been dismissed on account of his trade union activities and took part in the mobilisations to press the Mayor of Jalapa, Elmer Leónidas Guerra, to comply with the labour court ruling ordering the reinstatement of unfairly dismissed workers.

Transport union leader murdered15-05-2014

On 11 May 2014, transport union leader Luis Arnoldo López Esteban, from the Sindicato de Trabajadores del Transporte en Servicio Público de Ciudad Pedro de Alvarado (SITRASEPUCPA), in Jutiapa, was murdered. Two individuals requested a ride and then carried out the killing on reaching a secluded area.

Coca Cola suspends unionised workers30-04-2014

In April 2014, Coca Cola launched a strong media campaign to discredit the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Alimentos y Bebidas Atlántida S.A. (SITRAABASA), announcing that there are two groups of workers at the company, those who, regardless of their post, are considered “trustworthy” and those that are union members.

The company gave pay rises to the former while the unionised workers are being made to wait until the collective agreement is signed.

In response to this discrimination, a number of workers decided to refuse to do overtime. The company retaliated by suspending them from their posts on 24 April.

Unfair dismissals by Guatemalan Olympic Committee28-02-2014

On 31 January 2014, just ten days after taking office, the Guatemalan Olympic Committee (GOC) authorities dismissed twenty GOC workers (seven men and 13 women) without any justification. All of them were trade union members and among those fired were the union’s entire Executive Committee and Consultative Council.

Armed attack on trade unionists in banana sector15-01-2014

The Unión Sindical de Trabajadores de Guatemala (UNSITRAGUA-HISTORICA) reported an armed attack on workers at the agricultural company Omagua Campo Verde I y II, in Puerto Barrios, Izabal, which supplies the multinational company Chiquita Brands.
Unknown gunmen opened fire on a group of 11 workers holding a meeting in the trade union headquarters on 10 January 2014. The General Secretary, Juan de Dios Sagastume Rodas, was hit by a bullet in the knee.
Despite being immediately informed of the incident, the National Civil Police did not appear until the following day, when two officers went to interview Sagastume Rodas at the hospital in Puerto Barrios.

Young trade unionist murdered10-01-2014

The ITUC denounced the murder of young trade unionist Marlon Dagoberto Vásquez López, aged just 19. Marlon was a member of the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Construcción y Servicios de Guatemala (SINCSG), a student and an active member of the young trade unionists network in Quetzaltenango. His body was found on 6 January 2014 in the municipality of Concepción Chiquirichapa.

Trade unionists sacked by municipal authority in Jutiapa07-01-2014

On 6 January 2014, the Confederación de Unidad Sindical de Guatemala (CUSG) denounced the dismissal of ten workers from the Jutiapa municipal authority. Nine of them were trade union members.

Union busting at Malacatán Municipal Council16-12-2013

On 3 December 2013, the Confederación de Unidad Sindical de Guatemala (CUSG) reported that the Municipal Authority of Malacatán in San Marcos was demanding an authorization from any municipal worker wishing to join a union. According to the CUSG, the mayor, Juan Raul Fuentes Montes, publicly stated that he “does not want trade unionists in the municipality”.

Attempt on dock union leader’s life13-12-2013

On 14 November, armed assailants forcibly entered a relative’s house, just yards away from Ramos’ home. They said they were following orders “from above” and produced a photo of Ramos, stating that he was their real target.

On 22 November 2013, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) denounced an armed attack on the family of Lázaro Ramos, General Secretary of the ITF-affiliated Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Empresa Portuaria Quetzal (STEPQ).

The STEPQ and the ITF believe that this incident is directly linked to the measures being deployed to force the union to abandon its legal action to stop plans to privatise part of the port and grant a concession to the Spanish company TCB (Terminal de Contenedores de Barcelona).

Labour dispute at Industria de Café SA24-09-2013
Coca Cola puts pressures on workers not to join a union 24-09-2013

Only a few weeks after setting up the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Alimentos y Bebidas Atlántida SA (SITRAABASA) in the Tuculután bottling plant recently acquired by Coca Cola, union members came under attack from the management. On 12 February Arthur Goossens, President of the Board of Directors and the firm’s legal representative, held a seven-hour long meeting with all the staff and put pressure on workers to stop them from joining the union.

Threats to trade unionists in Purulha31-01-2013

In January 2013, trade unionists at the Purulha municipality in Baja Verapaz brought a case before the relevant court on account of death threats they had received. However, not only were the workers not provided the protective measures ordered by the court but, in a note to the judge, the Minister of the Interior accused them of failing to attend a meeting to which they had not been called.

Japala municipality dismisses workers24-09-2013

The mayor of Jalapa, Elmer Leónidas Guerra Calderón, has since his arrival in the municipality undertaken a campaign of anti-union practices that has left in its wake 260 dismissals since April 2012. Despite a court order to reinstate the workers, the mayor refused to comply. The situation was resolved in December 2012 as a result of strong pressure and measures implemented by the ITUC and the TUCA.

Anti-union harassment in the municipalities24-09-2013

Since the arrival in office of the new municipal authorities on 15 January 2012, workers in this sector have experienced serious violations of their fundamental labour rights ranging from harassment, death threats, bullying, intimidation, unfair dismissals, gender discrimination, failure to implement the minimum wage established by law, violation of the rights guaranteed by the Collective Agreement and the murder of trade union leaders and grassroots members.

Land Registry dismisses workers24-09-2013

In February 2013, an attempt by workers at the Land Registry to form a trade union was met with mass dismissals and the refusal by the authorities to recognise the legal standing of the organisation.

Attack by Koa Modas on trade unionists24-09-2013

Since the trade union was set up in June 2012, the clothing company Koa Modas has been campaigning to discredit the members of the Executive Committee. In October 2012, the trade union leader Mariela Miranda was assaulted and received a death threat. In April 2013, 13 workers who were members of the trade union were dismissed.

Directorate General for Labour is not registering trade unions24-09-2013

On 12 June 2013, the Movimiento Sindical y Popular Autónomo Guatemalteco denounced that the Directorate General for Labour had not registered or authorised the statutes of several organisations, including the Sindicato de la Municipalidad de San José El Rodeo, the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil, the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Educación de Sololá, the Sindicato de Trabajadores del Zoológico La Aurora and the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Purulá.

Delay in registering collective bargaining agreement31-07-2012

In July 2012, members of the Union of Workers of the City of Pueblo Nuevo Viñas, Department of Santa Rosa, presented the draft collective agreement on working conditions to the General Labour Inspectorate. After months without a response, the union asked the Inspectorate for an update and was told that the file was missing.

Anti-union discrimination31-01-2012

On 15 January 2012, 24 workers were dismissed by the Mayor of the municipality of San José El Rodeo for having started the process to set up the Union of Municipality Workers.

In June 2012, Ingenio Palo Gordo, one of the main companies in the sugar cane sector, fired seven members of the union’s Executive Committee.

Between 2011 and 2012, the Presidential Human Rights Commission dismissed almost every member of the union’s Executive Committee.

Violence against unions16-08-2013

Trade union members and leaders constantly face physical violence, threats and kidnappings. At least 53 trade unionists have been murdered in the last six years.

Unions operate in climate of violence31-12-2010

While the law contains provisions to protect trade union rights, in reality Guatemala’s de facto power groups successfully use various practices to prevent the creation of trade unions, particularly in the private sector. The majority of trade union organisations have been the target of assassinations, violations, attacks, threats, smear campaigns, infiltration, parallelism and exclusion from all social dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. forums. Despite these difficulties they have continued their socio-political work, operating as an independent trade union movement. Municipal authorities frequently violate trade union rights and working conditions, in an atmosphere of violence and threats.

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