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Nicaragua

The ITUC affiliates in Nicaragua are the Central de Trabajadores de Nicaragua (CTN), the Central Sandinista de Trabajadores (CST), the Confederación de Unificación Sindical (CUS) and the Frente Nacional de los Trabajadores (FNT).

In practice

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Pepsi’s distributor sacks 70 workers for forming a union09-02-2015

On 9 November 2014, workers at the Nicaraguan logistics company which markets and distributes products made by PepsiCo’s flagship Central American bottler Embotelladora Nacional S.A. (ENSA) formed a union in Managua. Within 24 hours the company fired 70 members and leaders.

At the request of the union, the Ministry of Labour inspected the ENSA plant, verified the mass dismissals, confirmed the violation of basic rights and ordered the company to reinstate the illegally dismissed workers.

In a meeting with Marcial Cabrera, General Secretary of the United Federation of Power Workers, who is advising the Union of Schneider Workers, the company proposed to reinstate only 45 of the dismissed workers, leaving out the 25 activists who organised the union. Schneider National then appealed the Ministry’s reinstatement order, which was upheld. Workers continue picketing picketing Demonstration or patrolling outside a workplace to publicise the existence of an industrial dispute or a strike, and to persuade other workers not to enter the establishment or discourage consumers from patronising the employer. Secondary picketing involves picketing of a neutral establishment with a view to putting indirect pressure on the target employer. at the main entrance of the ENSA-Pepsi plant in Managua in defence of their rights.

Although Schneider National Logistics delivers PepsiCo products in Nicaragua and their workers wear uniforms which display the Pepsi logo, it denies a direct relationship with Pepsi.

Upoli unwilling to negotiate31-03-2013

Teachers and administrative personnel from the Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua, Upoli, staged a protest in March 2013 calling for a 10% salary increase. According to the Secretary General of the trade union, the employers and authorities at Upoli were unwilling to negotiate.

Persecution of public sector workers continues 31-12-2012

According to the Federación Democrática de Trabajadores del Sector Público (Fedetrasep), 24.330 public sector employees were dismissed between January 2007 and December 2012. They also highlighted that 156 trade union organisations “had been eliminated” in different state bodies during the same period.

Outsourcing undermining trade union rights31-12-2011

Outsourcing outsourcing See contracting-out has had an enormous impact, and led representatives of several trade union organisations as well as members of the National Assembly to put forward a bill aimed at regulating the practice, which was debated at the “Tri-partite Forum on Outsourcing outsourcing See contracting-out ”. Workers lose their rights to social security, 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
, to organise, to a decent pension, because of outsourcing outsourcing See contracting-out . At least 800.000 workers are employed as contract labour in Nicaragua, principally in agriculture, construction, hotels and restaurants.

According to Marcial Cabrera, General Secretary of the United Federation of Food, Agro-Industry, Tourism, Service, Commercial and Allied Workers of Nicaragua (FUTATSCON), outsourcing outsourcing See contracting-out continues to be a common method of hiring staff. It undermines workers’ minimum guarantees, which in turn leads to the violation of their fundamental rights. Nicaraguan workers suffer the consequences, reflected above all in low wages, appalling working conditions, a lack of social benefits and the denial of their trade union rights.

Restrictions on collective bargaining rights31-12-2011
Workers’ rights violated in public sector31-12-2010

Unionised workers in the public sector witnessed a multitude of abusive practices by the authorities such as reprisals, discrimination, unfair dismissals, illegal suspensions, illegal contracts with mega salaries, the creation of new illegal posts, illegal promotions, arbitrary transfers and disregard for administrative and judicial decisions.

Anti-union discrimination28-02-2009

In a communiqué dated 24 February, the national trade union confederation, Confederación de Unificación Sindical (CUS), reported that the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry had still not responded to the requests for a meeting with the trade unions representing the workers employed by this Ministry, despite repeated requests dating back to January 2007. The CUS added that the government has not yet fulfilled the recommendations formulated by 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
Committee 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
in 2008 and continues to violate the clauses of the collective agreement in a number of areas, including contracting, dismissal procedures, facilities for trade unions (offices, etc.), and the bilateral agreement with drivers, especially as regards pay reviews.

Companies oppose union organising30-11-2009

It is part of corporate culture to persistently oppose the free exercise of trade union rights, with the backing of professional advice from lawyers and managers. Unionised workers speak of constant attacks, harassment and other forms of pressure aimed at forcing them to leave the union or the company. Dismissals, including of trade unions’ leaders or founding members, are the main strategy used to stop or prevent any attempts to organise. Employers often offer workers financial incentives to leave the union, to weaken the organisation by stripping it of its members. Employment relationships are changing and the increasing use of short-term or one-day contracts is making it impossible to increase union membership. Tactics such as changing company name, although this may seem like a formality, are also used as a way of de-legitimising the union or replacing members of the management with anti-union “hardliners”. The export processing zones or maquilas continue to be the sector where the most workers’ rights violations are committed.

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