Public Report of Review of Office of Trade and Labor Affairs: U.S. Submission 2008-01 (Guatemala)
U.S. Department of Labor; Bureau of International Labor Affairs
[Excerpt] • U.S. Submission 2008-01 focuses on allegations that the Government of Guatemala has violated Article 16.2.1(a), among others, of the Labor Chapter. • The submission outlines five separate cases (STEPQ, SITRABI, Coalition of Avandia Workers, SITRAFRIBO, SITRAINPROCSA, and FESTRAS) in which Guatemala allegedly failed to effectively enforce its domestic labor laws with regard to freedom of association, the right to organize and bargain collectively, and acceptable conditions of work. • The allegations related to freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining include: impunity for threats and violence against trade union leaders and members, creating a climate in which trade union rights cannot be freely exercised; unlawful dismissals of union leaders and a subsequent failure to reinstate workers in violation of court orders as well as other forms of anti-union retaliation; failure to protect workers’ associational and other rights in cases where ownership interests have changed in an enterprise; and failure to enforce provisions of Guatemalan labor law requiring employers to negotiate in good faith with recognized unions. • The allegations related to acceptable conditions of work include failure to enforce correct legal severance payments and failure to enforce domestic legal provisions requiring employer contributions to the Instituto Guatemalteco de Seguridad Social (IGSS – Guatemalan Social Security Institute).
Guatemala; Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR); labor law violations; working conditions