Peruvian unions protest Faber Castell and Artesco in national day of action

On 5 November, the BWI-affiliated Trade Union of Workers of A.W. Faber Castell in Peru (SUTFACAP) and Trade Union of ARTESCO Workers (SUTRART) joined thousands of workers in a massive protest called by one of the country’s Trade Union Confederation (CGTP) to oppose the collective cessation processes, criminalization of trade union work and other anti-union schemes.
The other BWI affiliates in Peru, SITRACESANLO and FETRACEPPE, joined the big mobilization. 

SUTFACAP used the occasion to draw attention to Faber Castell’s anti-worker policies. The union said that in April 2020, the company took advantage of the government’s “perfect suspension” policy to suspend without benefits more than half of its members. The company also refused to renew its collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the union even if it was already mediated by the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion.

The union also said that the company has criminally sued its General Secretary, Celso Arce Blanco and Board of Directors head, José Luis Morales Arana for an alleged administrative mistake in the framework process with the Ministry of Labor. 

BWI and IG Metall expressed their strong disapproval over Faber Castell- Peru’s anti-union practices. The company’s management was called to align itself with the Social Charter and the International Framework Agreement (IFA) signed by AW Faber Castell with BWI and IG METALL.

Meanwhile, SUTRART put ARTESCO, a Peruvian subsidiary of STAEDTLER, in the spotlight by narrating how it sent its workers home last May even if it did not suspended operations. The union said that contractual workers were called by the company to replace those who were sent home.  

SUTRART said that the company has also used the government’s “perfect suspension” policy and even extended it to 5 January 2021. As a result, workers were deprived of their salaries for 10 months. This also led to the lack of personnel from the Health and Safety Committee to attend to work-related accidents, such as what happened on 13 October, when a machinery operator figured in an accident and lost three of his fingers.

It was previously reported that BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson and IG Metall Transnational Department Director Horst Mund wrote to STAEDTLER-Germany, which has an IFA with BWI and IG Metall, denouncing its Peruvian subsidiary’s labour rights violations.