Illegal Union-Busting Tactics Increase in Telecommunications Industry

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Labor violations continue to be rampant at Telecom, the private company that bought the Salvadoran public telecommunications utility when it was privatized in 1996. The company has increased its union-busting tactics over the last weeks by pressuring workers to renounce their SUTTEL union membership. "This is a ploy to weaken the union, especially because SUTTEL is the key player in organizing a communications industry-wide union, SITCOM, which would include television, newspaper, radios, cable, and internet companies," Wilfredo Berrios, SUTTEL leader said.

Telecom has been closing down stores under the justification of internal restructuring and personnel reduction, while at the same time opening new stores in different locations. The company promises to relocate workers, as long as they renounce to the union. In other cases, supervisors inform workers of their eligibility for promotion only if they resign to the union. SUTTEL is currently representing 22 fired workers in their legal cases against the company. Many others were forced to sign their "voluntary resignation", giving up their legal rights. Workers are planning actions to demand Telecom stop its union-busting tactics.

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