Without any prior consultation with unions, local communities and other stakeholders mining multinational Glencore, has announced that it will stop mining coal in Colombia. The departure of mining company Prodeco, subsidiary of Glencore from Colombia will lead to mass unemployment in the mining region. In a letter, CNV Internationaal president Anneke Westerlaken calls on Glencore for social dialogue with miners, their unions and the government.
“The Dutch experience with our own coal mine closures shows that a good social plan and investments are crucial to mitigate the inevitable negative impact on the region”, says Westerlaken.
CNV Internationaal calls Glencore to act responsibly and in accordance with the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises and enable a just transition process.
Luis Fernando Ramírez, President of the regional union Sintramienergetica la Jagua de Ibirico, says the Prodeco group has hired an external law firm to contact each worker and explain Prodeco’s voluntary retirement plan.
This plan, warns Ramírez, "means a waiver of their labour rights, their collective benefits, and even the opportunity to pursue lawsuits they might have against the company. The amounts being offered are ridiculous when compared to what they deserve."
Prodeco is leaving behind many sick workers: “We have a large number of colleagues in PRODECO who suffer from musculoskeletal and as well as pulmonary diseases”, warns Jairo Córdoba, Secretary General of Sintradem, the National Union of Sick and Disabled Workers of the Mining Sector.
The worldwide movement to transition from fossil fuel energy sources to reduce CO2 emissions and avoid a climate crisis will affect the use of coal as an energy source. This is already very visible in Europe. The Netherlands, for example, has decided to close coal-fired power plants to achieve their climate goals.
For these reasons, CNV Internationaal calls Glencore to act responsibly and in accordance with the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises and enable a just transition process.
Publication date 02 03 2021