The fight against smuggling—a practice seriously impacting the Bolivian city of Cochabamba—but also increasing the quality of working conditions and productivity were the topics of the agenda set up by social partners from the Cochabamba region on September 21st. In a groundbreaking agreement, employers and trade unions are working together to improve the economy of their region.
Marionne Lips, Regional Coordinator for CNV Internationaal says, “This kind of meeting is unique for Bolivia, and was the result of a previous gathering held on September 11th in Cochabamba, when employers and unions started looking into opportunities for social dialogue. CNV Internationaal and DECP organized the September 11th meeting to show that it is possible for employers and trade unions to work together.”
Working towards the same goal
Javier Bellot, President of employer organization FEPC (Fair Employment Practice Committee), described the meeting as a “unique historic” moment. “We are excited about this development because this is how Bolivians should work, listening to each other and focusing on what unites us. We are more alike than different and we are working towards the same goal: The growth of our region.”
Focus on security and new employment opportunities
Erno Pérez of the National Trade Union Centre in Cochabamba, COD, emphasizes that the priority is establishing work security and generating employment opportunities for the younger generation. “The many new technical graduates and professionals deserve their place in the work force. This is what unites us.”
“We are always willing to find mutual solutions,” adds the acting Secretary of the Federation of Factory Workers, Mario Céspedes. “We are fighting for the security of our jobs, our daily bread.”
Employers and trade unions have agreed to meet on the 21st of each month. They will start with working out the details of a proposal to the government to decrease smuggling by implementing better and smarter import tariffs.
Publication date 24 09 2018