Duratex attempts to rollback labour rights, blames COVID-19

The BWI Regional Duratex International Workers’ Network in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) met recently to discuss Duratex’s attempts to rollback labour rights and weaken trade unions by taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The different trade unions said that Duratex’s suspension of union leaders and threat of their dismissal, failure to comply to an existing health insurance agreement, harassment through the imposition of a shift work scale, extension of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to non-union members, and its unwillingness to dialogue and negotiate with union leaders demonstrate its poor commitment to the United Nations Global Compact and the FSC forest certification system widely recognised by communities, workers and even its own investors. 

The network also assailed the mobilisation of retired workers as part of a scheme to interfere in the union’s general assembly. 

The trade unions said that Duratex’s practices are against the workers’ CBA, national labour laws and international Labour Organisation (ILO) standards and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Companies. 

As of the moment, Duratex refuses to accept the invitation of trade unions, the network and even BWI to sit down and have a constructive social dialogue in Brazil and Colombia.

Duratex S.A. is a Brazilian company of ceramic, wood and sanitary metals. It is controlled by the the Itaúsa Group and Ligna Group. The company is the eighth largest producer of wood panels in the world and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. It operates in Brazil and Colombia.