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Assault on Peru port unionist

SUTRAMPORPC General Secretary Wilmer Esteves Morales

SUTRAMPORPC General Secretary Wilmer Esteves Morales

A vicious assault against a dockers’ unionist in Peru has been perpetrated less than two weeks after an employer promise ended 20 days of strike action in a Peruvian port.

The attack against Wilmer Esteves Morales , general secretary of the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores Marítimos y Portuarios del Puerto del Callao (SUTRAMPORC), was reported on 20 February; Estevez was hit on the head with the butt of a gun. The wound needed five stitches. It is understood that the incident may or may not be unrelated to his union activities.

On 19 January, SUTRAMPORC members took strike action in Callao port over the employer’s unwillingness to recognise the workers’ union rights. The strike ended when the employer put forward a proposal recognising the union’s bargaining rights and pledged to enter into talks.

However, at a meeting between the union and the employer last week, the employer reneged on an earlier agreement to pay the workers wage arrears. The meeting was adjourned and it was agreed to reconvene at a later date. The attack against Estevez occurred since the meeting.

Antonio Fritz, ITF Americas regional secretary, commented: “Those guilty of this attack must be brought to justice.

“The next couple of days are critical and our support is essential. We must show the employers and government in Peru that we will not tolerate illegal attacks and that we demand justice; justice for Esteves, for SUTRAMPORC and for those whose only crime is to stand up for their rights.”

The ITF is urging affiliates to send a protest letter to the Peruvian government demanding that those guilty of the crime be brought to justice and that employers end union rights violations in the port of Callao. It is also urging unionists to send solidarity messages to the union.

From ITF Global

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