Guatemala: alarming increase in anti-union violence

The ITUC, its regional organisation the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) and its Guatemalan affiliates CGTG, CUSG and UNSITRAGUA, grouped within the Guatemalan Labour, Indigenous and Campesino Movement, are seriously concerned at the alarming increase in anti-union violence seen in Guatemala since the year 2007.

The poaching of members and the rise of "parallel" unions aimed at dividing the labour movement, robbing it of its independence and making it serve the interests of the government rather than the genuine interests and needs of Guatemala’s workers, are a cause for grave concern, together with the recurrent violence against MSICG members and representatives.

The national, regional and international trade union movement is seriously alarmed by the government’s attempts to delegitimize the MSICG in national and international forums, rather than encouraging solid and inclusive social dialogue aimed at eradicating the violence, the lack of respect for the core conventions of the ILO, and thus bringing an end to the impunity prevailing in the country.

On 2 February, bearing witness to the unusual level of anti-union violence, the MSICG presented a report on the serious human rights violations registered from the year 2005 to January 2010.

The TUCA and the ITUC fully support their affiliates and the Labour, Indigenous and Campesino Movement (MSICG) in their brave and committed dedication to trade union rights in Guatemala. In a statement delivered by TUCA in Guatemala Victor Báez and Amanda Villatoro called on the government to "take every step necessary to bring an immediate halt to the acts violating trade union rights and freedoms".

The ITUC represents 175 million workers in 155 countries and territories and has 311 national affiliates.

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018.

Photo: Gobierno de Guatemala