As part of BWI’s week-long campaign to mark the International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) on 28 April, the Coordination Board of the Intergremial of Workers of the Construction and Wood Industry of Colombia (INTERGREMIAL) held its first online meeting to share and discuss perspectives on the current status of construction work amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting was attended by Nilton Freitas, BWI Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, FNV-Netherlands Consultant for Latin America, Patricio Sambonino, BWI Regional Education Officer, Nicolas Menassé, José López Posada, INTERGREMIAL General Coordinator, Manuel Fernández of SUTIMAC and other trade union leaders from the INTERGREMIAL.
López Posada said that trade unions affiliated to INTERGREMIAL are their doing their best to negotiate with companies to ensure the income and work of their members. He said that there are currently 1,901 closed construction projects in the country, which have affected 500,000 formal construction workers. This was confirmed by the Colombian Construction Chamber (CAMACOL).
Fernández, meanwhile, pointed out that the main cement companies are complying with presidential decrees. He said that unions have managed to negotiate the granting of early vacations and telework options to its members. However, he said that subcontracted workers and those who belong to the informal sector have no secured income and other means of livelihood to survive the lockdown.