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Colombia: Trade unions negotiate improved working conditions and a living wage

More than 4,000 mine workers now have better labour conditions 

Stronger together thanks to the union collective

Coal mine company, Drummond Ltd, signed collective bargaining agreements with Sintramienergetica, Sintradrummond, and Sintradem unions on May 30, 2022. More than 4,000 mine workers now have better labour conditions. 

These collective labour agreements will be in effect for the next 3 years. Pay rises will occur incrementally over these 3 years. 

  • Year 1: 9.5% 
  • Year 2: rise in accordance to the consumer price index of 2022 
  • Year 3: rise in accordance to the consumer price index of 2023 + 1.5% 


These pay rises are an important step towards achieving living wages for the mine workers. In addition, the collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) include improved agreements on health insurance, housing funds, location reimbursement, travel expenses, pensions, and education scholarships. 

Stronger together

The collective of mine worker unions enabled the 3 unions to collectively negotiate for a fair energy transition which included them in the process. The union collective was established the year before with the goal to make the energy transition more just. The unions work better together and moreover, they are stronger negotiators together.

Financial and economic information

CNV Internationaal supported the unions throughout the negotiation process. They also contributed by doing research into the coal mine sector in national and international markets. This provided the unions with financial and economic information to use during negotiations.

Labour Observatory 

The union collective also has their own Labour Observatory website which provides information to both Colombian and international stakeholders. The website contains legal information, real life situations, and information from countries which have undergone similar transitions in the past, guidelines, and stories from the workers. Labour Observatory for a Just Transition in the Coal Supply Chain (

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Publication date 12 09 2023