CATP discusses major challenges facing the country with the UN Resident Coordinator in Peru

The central addressed the situation of regression of labor rights faced by workers in Peru and advocated for the active participation of trade unions in the design of sustainable development policies in the country.

On July 3, 2023, the Central Autónoma de Trabajadores del Perú (CATP), represented by its General Secretary, Paola Aliaga, and its Organizing Secretary, Rolando Torres, met with the UN Resident Coordinator in Peru, Igor Garafulic.

The meeting addressed various issues related to Peru’s national situation and its increasingly limited capacity to achieve its development goals established in the framework of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Regarding the national situation, the union representatives expressed their concern about the alarming state of the Peruvian labor market. They highlighted the government’s lack of interest in efficiently and effectively institutionalising social dialogue to establish a functional labor market that addresses current problems such as a very high rate of informality (80%), a deficient social protection system, constant non-compliance with occupational health and safety regulations, a lack of strategic vision on the role and potential of vocational training, or the unwillingness to establish a legal framework on minimum wages that is regularly adapted to the country’s situation.

The unions also shared with the Resident Coordinator their concern about the dramatic rise of aggressive anti-union practices by employers, including the Peruvian State itself. These are resulting in little or no response from the State to the thousands of complaints of anti-union dismissals, collective dismissals and violations of fundamental rights. This situation is aggravated by the interference in the different governments of people from the private sector who put the interests of their groups before those of the Peruvian population. This situation is leading to the collapse of the agencies responsible for the protection of fundamental rights at work. For example, both the judiciary and the National Superintendence of Labour Inspection are without an adequate budget to comply with the objectives and purposes set forth in the law.

During the exchange, the unions also discussed the country’s fiscal situation - marred by a high rate of tax avoidance and evasion - and explained their position on the use that should be made of foreign direct investment and official development assistance to combat poverty and achieve the SDG targets.

The trade union representatives also presented the Resident Coordinator the report that CATP has prepared on the progress of the SDGs in Peru in terms of decent work, social protection, minimum wage, labour rights and social dialogue. This presentation was used to highlight the need to recognise trade unions as development actors, their value in the design of public policies and regulatory frameworks necessary for the achievement of the SDG targets, as well as the urgent need to strengthen the capacities of trade unions so that they can effectively follow up and monitor the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Peru. CATP also stressed that this work must include the participation of women and youth in equity; an aspect that was well-received by the Resident Coordinator.

CATP continues to strengthen its capacity for involvement in the country’s development policy processes. In coordination with the ILO, CATP will soon organise a training process for trade union leaders, with the aim of increasing awareness of the 2030 Agenda, its direct relationship with the world of work, and in particular Goal 8 on decent work, and the design, implementation and monitoring of public policies to achieve it. Likewise, teams will be formed to promote and monitor compliance with the SDGs in Peru so that they can participate in the design of appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks in line with the SDGs.