Colombia’s labour sector has begun the week with ongoing strikes at the National University and coal mining company Cerrejon while new protests have been announced in the rice farming and teaching sectors.
The paralysis of the National University is set to continue interfering with classes, with more than 30,000 students still unable to start the term. The government’s mediator, Deputy Labor Minister Jose Noe Rios, will continue talks with the institution’s union in an attempt to allow the term to go ahead.
The workers have been asking for a salary raise that will cover 2,500 jobs across the university since September. “We are ready to make a sustained proposal to the Treasury to get these resources and to carry out this increased salary,” said Juan Carlos Arango, president of the University Workers’ Union. The strike has been going on for 18 days.
The other unresolved conflict, at coal company el Cerrejon, will follow on with discussions over the signing of a new collective labor agreement, although according to the spokesperson of the worker’s union Marlon Gomez, the block on activity is expected to come to an end Monday afternoon. As well as requesting an 8% salary increase in the contract rather than the 5% originally proposed by the company, the union is claiming improvements in health coverage as well as specific treatments for those affected by illnesses specifically related to the mining process.
Meanwhile, the rice farming sector has announced a new strike and is demanding government subsidies, with (rice company) Fedearroz’s President Rafael Hernandez declaring the sector in a state of crisis saying, “The main problem is the low price of cereal and imports from neighboring countries … the sector urgently needs irrigation, protection and soft credit on a long-term basis to be able to continue production.”
In addition to the above, Colombian teachers’ federation Fecode has refused to rule out the possibility of a strike in the coming weeks over conflict regarding the grading of teachers’ salaries over what they consider the abandonment of education by President Juan Manuel Santos.
The Colombian government and coffee farmers Thursday reached an agreement to end the coffee strikes that had mobilized 90,000 coffee growers and activists across Colombia.
- La semana comienza con conflictos laborales en 4 sectores (RCN radio)
- Gobierno y trabajadores de la Universidad Nacional buscan superar conflicto laboral (LA fm)
- MinTrabajo reanuda gestiones para levantar huelga en Cerrejón (RCN radio)
- Fedearroz adelantará diálogo con el Gobierno sobre el anunciado paro en el sector (RCN radio)
- Magisterio colombiano anuncia paro de labores (Informador.com)
- Esta tarde firman convención colectiva en Cerrejón (Portafolio.co)