The fruits of the ICEM’s Contract and Agency Labour campaign were revealed last week when the first sub-contracting company at massive Carbones del Cerrejón recognized a newly-formed union. Chaneme Comercial S.A., a mechanical maintenance contractor, has recognized the trade union Sintracheneme, and with the assistance of ICEM mining affiliate Sintracarbòn, is currently negotiating a first collective agreement for 300 maintenance contract workers.
“The ICEM salutes the leaders and dedicated union members of Sintracarbòn,” said General Secretary Manfred Warda. “Through their diligence, and the diligence of Project Coordinator Carlos Bustos, they made this possible. History has been made at one of the world’s largest coal mines.”
Carbones del Cerrejón, equally owned by BHP Billiton, AngloAmerican, and Xstrata, employs some 3,500 miners, who are represented by Sintracarbòn. But another 4,000 workers at the sprawling mine pits in La Guajira state are employed by contract workers.
Jaime Deluquez, centre, with Jesús Brochero and José Nicolás Brito Mendoza
Workers of Chaneme repair and maintain the massive 240-tonne and 320-tonne trucks, as well as doing the same for the heavy digging equipment that inhabits the eight open cast mines of Carbones del Cerrejón.