After several rounds of negotiations, the first collective bargaining agreement between a Colombian port society and a union have been signed in Buenaventura.
Translated statement via Union Portuaria:
PORTWORKERS UNION OF COLOMBIA SIGNS COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS WITH THE REGIONAL PORT SOCIETY OF BUENAVENTURA (SPRBUN) AND THE SPECIALIZED CONTAINER TERMINAL OF BUENAVENTURA (TECSA)
The National Board of Directors of the Port Workers Union of Colombia (Union Portuaria) and the Negotiators Commission informs about the list of demands presented to the companies SPRBUN and TECSA:
- A collective bargaining agreement was signed on Wednesday, June 24 with SPRBUN and on Thursday, June 25 with TECSA.
- TECSA is the main port operator of Buenaventura and SPRBUN maintains a situation of control over this operator with 99.9% shareholding.
- Of the 34 listed demands, 29 were agreed upon in the collective bargaining agreements.
- SPRBUN has personnel in their plant of 376 workers and TECSA has 523 workers.
- The conversations about the demands were carried out in the city of Buenaventura and were developed with the utmost respect between the two parties.
- We highlight the attentive attitude and participation of the workers regarding the development of the conversations, as well as the constant information and updates about what was happening at the negotiating table.
The most important aspects agreed upon are the following:
- Indefinite contract for all personnel who have a fixed term contract of one year or more.
- Port crane operators and mobile crane operators will have 8 hour shifts, with two shifts off for every two shifts worked.
- For each container moved, bonuses of $350 pesos ($0.13 USD) will be paid to port equipment operators and bonuses of $169 pesos ($0.06 USD) will be paid to crane overseers.
- In the case of a SPRBUN worker being transferred to another company still controlled by SPRBUN, the worker will keep all of his or her rights.
- After the third extension of a fixed term contract, these contracts will become indefinite contracts.
- The disciplinary system will coincide with the principles established in the court ruling C-593 of 2014.
- Complimentary meals will be given to workers halfway through every shift, with 30 minutes to eat in quality and sanitary conditions as established in decree 3075 of 1997. In the case of overtime, workers have the right to another meal.
- Prohibition of collective pacts which seek to undermine the already-agreed-upon collective bargaining agreement with the Portworkers Union of Colombia. The companies may offer benefits to their workers without discrimination.
- Assistance to the Buenaventura branch of the Portworkers Union of Colombia for $6,000,000 pesos (approximately $2200 USD) for the duration of the collective bargaining agreement; transport for attending national Portworkers Union of Colombia assemblies and expense allowances of $100,000 pesos (approximately $37 USD) per day for delegates, 208 days of permission for leaders per year, 108 days of permission for union courses for associates and expense allowances of $60,000 pesos (approximately $22 USD).
- Educational assistance for workers’ children who are in preschool, primary school, high school, and higher education; life insurance for workers.
- Respect for salaries, an issue that the Portworkers Union of Colombia presented a request for standardizing, keeping in mind that the port companies had contracted a study for the general improvement of all positions, it was agreed that in a maximum time period of 45 days after the collective bargaining agreements were signed, the companies will present a general proposal for improving salaries.
- Within a maximum time period of 45 days, the company will give a response to the petition regarding standardization and naming of maintenance personnel.
- The duration of the collective bargaining agreements will be two years beginning on July 1, 2015.
- It was agreed additionally to pay vacation compensations which have been owed since 2010 to operators, crane overseers and security supervisors, in individual quantities that vary between 3 and 7 million pesos (approximately $1120 to $2615 USD).
- It was agreed to name 10 more crane directors, 4 mobile crane operators, and 14 port crane operators.
- The companies will recognize through the Employee Fund 100% of what each worker owes each two weeks, up to 10% of his or her salary.
Watch our video on conditions for port workers in Buenaventura: