On 21 March the Committee on International Trade at the European Parliament invited CNV Internationaal to present the complaint filed to the EU's Single Entry Point last May 2022 on behalf of trade unions from Colombia and Peru. CNV Internationaal's Ben Vanpeperstraete addressed the precarious working conditions in the mines in Colombia and Peru and called on the European Commission and the trade partners to take on the road map.
CNV Internationaal filed this complaint to address the lack of compliance with the sustainability chapter of the Trade Agreement with the Andean Countries, explained Vanpeperstraete.
These mines, in both countries owned by the Swiss multinational Glencore, produce coal and metals that play such a crucial role in he European Union’s energy supply.
CNV Internationaal calls on the European Union to cooperate with Colombia and Peru in order to improve labour rights conditions in line with the sustainability chapter of the trade deal.
Outsourcing and fatal accidents
Vanpeperstraete: "In both Colombia and Peru we see outsourcing is the rule rather than the exeption. Core functions - the miners themselves - are being outsourced; outsourced workers earn significantly less, up to a third of thier colleagues.
Furthermore, in Peru we see an average of 18,2 percent fatal accidents in the mining companies, but when we look at the contractors, the agencies have an average of 31,6 percent fatal accidents."
The coal mining in Colombia and metals mining in Peru cleary shows how outsourcing becomes a problem in relation to working conditions, such as payments, health and safety, as well as core rights, such as freedom of association and collective bargaining.
"We see the issues persist", says Vanpeperstraete. “Governments are failing, both in terms of legislative frameworks as well as implementation. That is in essence what the complaint is about.”
Next steps - Road map
Vanpeperstraete: “When it comes to remedying, we proposed to engage and to work together with the governments in question."
The complaint adds to calls made by other institutions to create a detailed road map to address the labour violations mentioned in the complaint. “It's difficult to say what will happen.
Hopefully the commission and trading partners will take up the roadmap,” says Vanpeperstraete, underlining that this roadmap should be detailed and time bound.
21 March 2023
The Committee on International Trade at the European Parliament invited CNV Internationaal to present the complaint filed to the EU's Single Entry Point
24 October 2022
The EU Domestic Advisory Group under the EU multiparty trade agreement (MTA) with Colombia, Ecuador and Peru meets to provide input to the Committee on Trade and Sustainable Development under the agreement.
25 August 2022
Carbones del Cerrejón (Colombia), owned by Swiss multinational Glencore, continues to refuse to participate in the dialogue with the government, which is crucial to improve conditions in the region and also to manage the energy transition in the mining region.
16 May 2022
For the first time ever, trade union organisations, together with CNV Internationaal, are filing a complaint with the EU in a quest to make precarious working conditions in the mines in Colombia and Peru visible. These are the mines producing the coal and metals that play such a crucial role in the European Union’s energy supply.
Publication date 30 03 2023