PSI organised its annual regional conference, IAMREC, in Guatemala City from 24 to 28 March and followed up on its first international mission in August 2013, meeting with the President General Otto Perez Molina, the Minister of Health, the Deputy Minister of Labour, Ministry of Interior, the General Procurator for human rights, the EU Ambassador, US solidarity center and the UN High Commissioner’s Office for Human rights.
On Thursday 27 March, during the meeting between the President and the PSI delegation headed by Rosa Pavanelli, President General Otto Perez Molina committed to ratify Convention 151, to send out a circular to all government institutions that calls for respect of freedom of association and collective bargaining and for those administrations that have not concluded a collective agreement to do so and to set up joint committees. He also pledged to continue to investigate crimes against trade unionists and to provide security whenever it is needed.
The Deputy Minister of Labour committed to review potential Civil Service reform and give more attention to the public sector and public sector unions in the framework of the programme of the Ministry of Labour to promote social dialogue and collective bargaining in the coming weeks.
On Friday, the Frente National de Lucha (FNL) organised its congress that set the action plan for the coming two years, bringing together 11 000 members and leaders of the SNTSG and other FNL organizations. Besides the adoption of the action plan the main highlight of the congress was the speech of the minister of Health who:
- Delivered a list of 21 800 precarious workers, working without paid leave and social security, who will be transferred to contract 011 type – regularized. This was one of the main demands of the SNTSG for the last two year.
- Pledged the implementation of the collective agreement that was signed last year, including changes in salary and social security contributions. Until now, pension contributions were paid only on the base salary, the rest of the salary considered to be “bonus”. This led to extreme poverty for pensioners – this will not be the case anymore.
At the IAMREC meeting, PSI affiliates committed to continue and strengthen PSI’s Campaign for trade union rights in Guatemala.